Eagles take over lead in Area 1

Published 2:02 pm Monday, March 20, 2006

By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editor
Not that they wanted to find out, but the W.S. Neal Blue Eagles baseball team found out how it would respond to a loss.
Very well, thank you.
The Blue Eagles improved their record to 7-1 overall and to 2-0 in Class 3A Area 1 Friday when they downed the host Clarke County Bulldogs 15-4. W.S. Neal moved one-half game ahead of idle T.R. Miller (1-0) for the Area lead. Those teams hook up in a first place battle Friday at T.R. Miller.
W.S. Neal pounded three homeruns, as Jake Smith, Justin Smith and Jared Cooper all went deep.
Jake Smith's homer was just part of his best game of the season, as he cranked out four hits and drove in five runs. Justin Smith added three hits and drove in two runs. Cooper added a pair of hits with three RBIs.
Whitney Qualls improved his season mark to 3-0 on the mound, as he fanned 12 Bulldogs in a complete game effort.
W.S. Neal heads to Excel Monday for a 6 p.m. game, with a junior varsity contest slated at 4 p.m.
The Blue Eagles lost their first game of the season Wednesday when they dropped a 13-3 decision at home to the Jay (Fla.) Royals.
The loss snapped a nine-game winning streak for W.S. Neal that began at the start of last year's Escambia County Tournament.
The Blue Eagles had a nightmarish day in the field when they committed 11 errors.
Jay got a two-run double from Brad Lowery in the top of the first inning and never trailed although the Blue Eagles got an RBI single by Spencer Williamson in the bottom half of the first inning that cut Jay's lead in half.
The key frame in the game was the top of the second inning where three W.S. Neal errors opened the door for a nine-run inning by the Royals that swelled the lead to 11-1.
The big blow was a grand slam by Josh Marshall off reliever Josh Sawyer, who had just taken over for starter Jimmie Jones one batter earlier.
Jacob Cannon added an RBI single and Eric Howell had a sacrifice fly in a losing cause the Blue Eagles.
Jay starter Tyler DeGraaf allowed five hits over six innings to get the win.
At W.S. Neal
Jay 290 000 2 – 13 8 1
W.S. Neal 110 000 1 – 3 6 11
The Blue Eagles came from behind on two occasions to beat the visiting Flomaton
See EAGLES Page 2B
Hurricanes 6-4 Tuesday.
Flomaton took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but W.S. Neal tied it in the bottom half of the inning on Jared Cooper's RBI single.
The Hurricanes once again regained the lead with another run in the top of the second, but the Blue Eagles tied it again in the bottom half of the inning when Tyler Nall scored on the front end of a double steal with Justin Smith.
W.S. Neal took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the third when Cooper doubled, when to third on a groundout and scored on a passed ball.
Spencer Williamson delivered the game's biggest blow in the bottom of the fourth when he followed walks to Justin Smith and Eric Howell with a three-run homer that took the lead up to 6-2.
Josey Brown picked up his fourth win of the season with a complete game five-hitter. Brown struck out eight and walked only one.
At W.S. Neal
Flomaton 110 011 0 – 4 5 1
W.S. Neal 111 300 X – 6 6 1

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