Tigers conclude Area play unbeaten

Published 6:06 pm Monday, April 17, 2006

By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editor
It may not have had any impact on the who, where or when in regard to the playoffs, but that did not mean the 12-2 win by the T.R. Miller Tigers over the visiting Straughn Tigers Thursday lacked importance.
For starters, T.R. Miller's victory enabled the Tigers the satisfaction of going through the Class 3A Area 1 season with a perfect 6-0 record.
Thursday's win continued an odd trend for T.R. Miller (12-6). The Tigers improved to 8-0 at home this season, as compared to just 4-6 on the road.
While T.R. Miller needed only five innings to win, the host Tigers were far from perfect. T.R. Miller committed four errors in the field and lost three runners on the bases.
The Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Tanner Shehan was hit by a pitch, stole second and third, and scored on a throwing error on his second steal attempt. Jordan Cauley walked, Becker Denton was also hit by a pitch and Mackie Jackson drilled an RBI single.
The host Tigers broke the game open with a five-run uprising in the second inning that made it 7-0. Shehan fueled the rally with a two-run single, while Baxley Raines and Denton each had RBI doubles. A throwing error also allowed an additional run to score.
Brice Martin stroked an RBI single in the bottom of the third that made it 8-0.
Straughn (0-6 in Area 1) scored both of its runs in the top of the fourth, albeit both were unearned, against T.R. Miller starter Allen Williams, who went the first four innings for the win.
T.R. Miller went up 9-2 in the bottom of the fourth when Martin was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in a run.
The host Tigers closed out the win in the bottom of the fifth with the aid of two run-scoring errors and an RBI triple by Denton.
T.R. Miller was ambushed twice Tuesday when it dropped both ends of a doubleheader to the Excel Panthers by scores of 17-5 in six innings in game one and 16-5 in five innings in game two.
Excel (20-4 overall and ranked fourth in the state in Class 2A) lashed out 27 hits in the two games, five of which were homeruns.
The Tigers got off to a good start in game one, as they led 5-1 after three innings. Jordan Cauley had a two-run homer in the first inning, while Wade McCall went deep on a solo shot in the second inning. Mackie Jackson added a two-run double in the second inning.
It all started to go downhill in the fourth inning when Excel began a string of 16 unanswered runs over its last three at-bats.
Game two followed a similar pattern. T.R. Miller had a 2-1 lead headed into the bottom of the third inning, but Excel took the lead for good when it scored three runs in the bottom of the third inning off Tigers starter Baxley Raines.
Excel ran its lead to 12-4 with an eight-run fourth inning against Raines, who homered in the fifth, and reliever Becker Denton.
The Tigers travel to Jay (Fla.) Monday for a 4 p.m. game.
Tuesday's game one
T.R. Miller 230 000 – 5 7 1
Excel 100 358 – 17 17 0
Game two
T.R. Miller 101 03 – 5 6 2
Excel 013 84 – 16 10 2
Thursday's game
Straughn 000 20 – 2 2 5
T.R. Miller 251 12 – 12 12 4

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