More road woes for Tigers at Jay

Published 6:35 pm Wednesday, April 19, 2006

By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editor
It is probably a good thing the T.R. Miller Tigers baseball team is playing the Escambia County Tournament and the first round of the state playoffs at home.
T.R. Miller's season-long road woes continued Monday when the Tigers were upended by the host Jay (Fla.) Royals 6-1. While T.R. Miller has compiled an 8-0 record at home this season, the latest setback dropped its road mark to 4-7.
Another disturbing trend for the Tigers (12-7) is of their seven losses, five of them have come against teams they beat the first time they played.
The Tigers were limited to just two hits and struck out nine times against Jay pitcher Brandt Hendricks. Despite the lack of hits, T.R. Miller had its chances to break through. The Tigers stranded four runners in scoring position.
T.R. Miller starter Baxley Raines, who went the first five innings, and reliever Mackie Jackson allowed only a combined six hits, but fell victims to five errors by their defense.
Jay got the only offense it needed in the bottom of the third inning. Jack Rudolph and Hendricks both singled to set up an RBI double by Josh Marshall and an RBI groundout by Brad Lowery that made it 2-0.
The Tigers were hitless until the fourth inning when they scored their only run. Becker Denton was hit by a pitch, and Allen Williams broke up Hendricks' no-hit bid with a two-out single. Hendricks unleashed back-to-back wild pitches that allowed Denton to score and cut Jay's lead to 2-1.
The Royals, who lost 7-1 to T.R. Miller last month, opened up some breathing room in the bottom of the fourth. Myles Hammac walked to start the frame, but Tyler DeGraaf hit into a fielder's choice. Hunter Boutwell kept the inning going with a single. The key play of the inning and perhaps the game came when Rudolph reached on a throwing error that allowed DeGraaf to score to make it 3-1. Boutwell scored on a wild pitch that took the lead up to 4-1, while Devin Castleberry lined an RBI single that made it 5-1.
Jay scored its final run in the bottom of the sixth. Boutwell singled, Rudolph walked and Castleberry was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Hendricks hit a sacrifice fly that drove home Boutwell to make it 6-1.
T.R. Miller has also learned it has drawn a first-round matchup against Aliceville in the opening round of next week's Class 3A state playoffs. That game will be played at Brewton Tuesday at 4 p.m.
At Jay
T.R. Miller 000 100 0 – 1 2 5
Jay 002 301 X – 6 6 1

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