Second loss at EC Tournament hasTRM limping into playoffs
By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
One thing is sure about the T.R. Miller Tigers' performance at the Escambia County Tournament.
It will not take long to determine whether or not the Tigers' disappointing third place finish is a wakeup call or the beginning of the end.
Owners of 13 straight wins headed into the tournament and two victories over each of the other tournament participants, T.R. Miller limped out of the tournament with a 1-2 record after Saturday's 15-13 setback to the Flomaton Hurricanes.
The action was the last for the Tigers before Tuesday's playoff opener at home against Leeds.
During the three games at the tournament, the Tigers allowed 29 runs on 30 hits and committed 10 errors.
Although the Tigers were eliminated from title contention before they even took the field Saturday, Hart said his team was not guilty of a letdown.
As was the case for most of the tournament, T.R. Miller (19-6)
See TIGERS Page 7A
found itself fighting an uphill battle throughout the Flomaton contest.
The Tigers found themselves in a 3-0 hole before they even came to bat in the first inning after Flomaton's Mike Wedgeworth ripped a three-run homer off T.R. Miller starter Becker Denton.
Thanks to an RBI double by Baxley Raines, a run-scoring error and a two-run single by Denton, the Tigers answered right back in the bottom of the first inning with a four-run rally that put them on top 4-3.
Wedgeworth bit T.R. Miller again in the second inning when his two-run single keyed a five-run uprising that put Flomaton back on top 8-4.
Like Wedgeworth, Raines also had a highly productive first two innings when he hit a solo homerun in the bottom half of the second. T.R. Miller also picked up an unearned run that trimmed its deficit to 8-6.
The Tigers tied it in the bottom of the third on a run-scoring error and an RBI single by Tyler Shehan.
Jake Bonds' RBI single off reliever Allen Williams in the top of the fourth broke that 8-8 deadlock and put Flomaton ahead for good.
The Hurricanes added four runs to that cushion in the top of the fifth inning without the aid of a hit and with the aid of two T.R. Miller errors that took the lead up to 13-8.
Both Raines and Tyler Shehan picked up their third RBIs of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning. Raines got his on an RBI single and Shehan's two-run single trimmed the Flomaton lead to 13-11.
The Tigers' third error in two innings led to two critical Flomaton insurance runs in the top of the seventh that stretched its lead to 15-11.
As it turned out, the Hurricanes needed that extra cushion. In the bottom half of the seventh, Mackie Jackson doubled, Brice Martin reached on a dropped fly ball, Tanner Shehan hit an RBI double and Jordan Cauley reached on a dropped flyball that drove in Martin that cut the lead to just 15-13.
With the tying runs on base and just one out, Flomaton pitcher Jake Bonds, who had labored since he entered the game in the third inning, fanned Raines and got Jordan Ball to fly out and end the game.
Flomaton 350 140 2 – 15 11 6
T.R. Miller 422 003 2 – 13 13 4