High (5-0) Tigers bag Area opener
Published 1:18 pm Monday, March 13, 2006
By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editor
It has taken being on the right side of tiebreakers with Clarke County for the T.R. Miller Tigers baseball team to win the Class 3A Area 1 championship the last two seasons.
While it was just one game, T.R. Miller took a step towards avoiding that conflict this season when it downed the visiting Bulldogs 4-1 Friday in the Area opener for both teams.
"One win hardly puts us in the driver's seat, but it keeps us from being behind the eight ball right off the bat. It's a big win for us. Clarke County has given us a lot of trouble the last couple of years," T.R. Miller coach Jim Hart said.
The game followed the early season trend where the Tigers (5-0) jumped on their opponent in the early going only to hit some mid-game snags.
The Tigers roughed up Clarke County starting hurler Robert Malone for three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Tanner Shehan was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored on Jordan Cauley's RBI single. Baxley Raines followed with an RBI double, took third on Becker Denton's flyball into rightfield and scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-0.
After the initial outburst, T.R. Miller managed just three more
hits the rest of the game and none of them factored into it's final tally. That came in the bottom of the third when Denton led off the frame with a walk. Reliever Hunter Cross hit Justin Marshall with a pitch and uncorked a wild pitch before Hayes Peace drove Denton home with an RBI groundout to make it 4-0.
Tigers starting pitcher Allen Williams hurled four scoreless innings before Clarke County got to him in the top of the fifth when Terrance Frazier singled and scored on Dwayne Owens' RBI double to slice the lead to 4-1.
Williams escaped further damage in that inning and Cauley hurled two scoreless frames to preserve the win.
Cauley escaped a tight jam in the top of the seventh when Chris Andrews led off with a single and Justin Fendley followed with a base on balls. Cauley helped douse the rally when he got Frazier to ground into a double play, but Tyler Walker walked to once again bring the tying run up to the plate. Cauley closed the door once and for all when he fanned Owens to end the game.
At T.R. Miller
Clarke County 000 010 0 – 1 5 3
T.R. Miller 301 000 X – 4 5 3
Tigers double up Andalusia
T.R. Miller scored early and late to double up the visiting Andalusia Bulldogs 6-3 Tuesday.
After the visitors touched T.R. Miller starter Allen Williams for an unearned run in the top of the first inning, the Tigers lashed out five hits and four runs against Bulldogs pitcher Johnny Jernigan in the bottom of the first inning.
Tanner Shehan started the uprising with an infield single, stole second and scored on Jordan Cauley's game-tying RBI double. Baxley Raines beat out an infield hit and a throwing error by Jernigan on the play allowed Cauley to score and put T.R. Miller up 2-1.
After Becker Denton delivered an RBI groundout that plated Raines, Justin Marshall delivered probably the biggest blow of the game with a solo homerun that made it 4-1.
The Tigers' offense quickly cooled off after initial outbreak. In fact, T.R. Miller had jut four more hits after the first inning and two of those did not come until the bottom of the sixth.
In the meantime, Andalusia chipped away at the lead. The Bulldogs got an RBI single by William Alverson in the top of the third inning and Curtis Johnson doubled and eventually scored on a wild pitch in the sixth to narrow the gap to just 4-3.
Reliever Mackie Jackson, who followed up two scoreless innings of work by Cauley after Williams went the first three innings, stranded the tying and go-ahead runners on base to preserve the lead.
T.R. Miller plated two key insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth with a two-out rally. Mikel Riggs beat out an infield hit and stole second, while Shehan was hit by a pitch to end Jernigan's day on the mound.
Reliever Matt Mellown was promptly greeted by an RBI single by Cauley and then uncorked a run-scoring wild pitch that plated Shehan to make it 6-3.
At T.R. Miller
Andalusia 101 001 0 – 3 8 0
T.R. Miller 400 002 X – 6 9 2