Tigers take care of number one
By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
Sometimes you have to put everything aside and look out for number one.
The T.R. Miller Tigers did just that Friday, as they ambushed the state's top-ranked team in Class 2A, the Excel Panthers, in both ends of a doubleheader at Brewton.
The Tigers used plenty of muscle to post their wins of 12-2 in six innings in game one and 20-16 in game two.
In addition to their 32 runs scored, T.R. Miller lashed out 38 hits on the day. Twenty-four of those came in the second game.
"We obviously hit the ball extremely well. Everybody in the lineup contributed," T.R. Miller coach Jim Hart said.
Tyler Shehan and Jacob Salter especially wore out the Panthers. Shehan racked up seven hits with five RBIs for the
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day, while Salter had six hits, two walks and three RBIs.
"Both Tyler and Jacob had a great day. They've both been swinging the bat real well," Hart said.
Salter and Shehan wasted no time ripping the Excel pitching staff. Salter led off the bottom of the first inning with a solo homer that erased a brief 1-0 Excel lead. Later in the inning Shehan snapped the deadlock with a two-run double.
Excel's inning Seth Mack hit a solo homer in the top of the second inning off Tiger hurler Baxley Raines that cut the lead to 3-2.
T.R. Miller (14-4 and winners of nine straight) responded with eight unanswered runs. That included an unearned run in the third inning, a two-run single by Jordan Cauley in the fourth, an RBI double by Becker Denton and an RBI single by Allen Williams in a three-run fifth inning plus RBI doubles by Tyler Shehan and Justin Marshall along with an RBI single by Denton in the sixth inning that ended the game on the 10-run rule.
Raines went the distance on a four-hitter with seven strikeouts for the win.
Excel (14-6) raced out to leads of 4-0 and 6-1 in the first two innings of game two, but T.R. Miller took the lead for good when a nine-run rally in the bottom of the second inning put the Tigers up 10-8.
That inning included a string of seven straight T.R. Miller hits. The biggest blows were a two-run double by Mikel Riggs, an RBI double by Salter and an RBI double by Jackson.
T.R. Miller's lead was just 11-10 when Ball hammered a three-run homer in the fifth that made it 14-10.
Salter, Ball and Tyler Shehan all had RBI doubles in a sixth-run sixth inning that put T.R. Miller's run total up to 20.
Denton went the final four innings for the win.
T.R. Miller's next game is Tuesday when it hosts Flomaton. Junior varsity starts at 4 p.m. followed by the varsity game.
Excel 110 000 – 2 4 4
T.R. Miller 301 253 – 12 14 1
Excel 422 202 4 – 16 13 2
T.R. Miller 191 036 X – 20 24 3
Tigers down EC
T.R. Miller needed extra innings to beat Escambia County back in the season opener, but the Tigers had a much easier time in Tuesday's rematch when they rolled to an 11-2 win in Brewton.
After the visiting Blue Devils got both of their runs in the top of the first inning against T.R. Miller starter Jacob Salter, The Tigers responded with 11 unanswered runs.
Four of those came in the bottom of the first inning. That rally was sparked by a one-out, solo homer by Jordan Cauley. Tyler Shehan added fuel to the rally with an RBI double that tied the game and Justin Curry had a two-run single that put the Tigers ahead for good at 4-2.
Jordan Ball's two-run double in the second inning knocked that cushion up to 6-2. Tyler Shehan highlighted a three-run fourth inning with an RBI single, which also included a run-scoring passed ball and a run-scoring wild pitch.
The Tigers got their final two runs in the fifth, one of which came on a bases loaded walk to Ball and a run-scoring wild pitch.
Ball collected three hits and drove in three RBIs to pace the Tigers. Tyler Shehan added two hits and two RBIs, while Salter had two hits with one RBI.
Salter, the first of five T.R. Miller pitchers, went the first three innings for the win. Relievers Cauley, Allen Williams, Becker Denton and Mackie Jackson combined for four innings of scoreless relief.
T.R. Miller's junior varsity evened its season record at 2-2 with a 4-3 win over Escambia County.
The Tigers overcame a 3-1 deficit with a decisive three-run fourth inning rally.
Corey Williams had a single and two RBIs to pace T.R. Miller, while James Hamric had a single and an RBI. Derek Busby and Will Waters also had a hit.
James Hamric struck out 10 and scattered six hits in a complete game win.
At T.R. Miller
Escambia County 200 000 0 – 2 5 2
T.R. Miller 420 320 X – 11 11 1