WSN baseball sweeps TRM to clinch playoff berth and go to 20-0; TRM falls to 11-9 and is eliminated from playoffs
Needing one win over rival T.R. Miller Friday night in East Brewton to clinch a playoff spot and eliminate the Tigers from playoff contention, the Eagles did just what they need to do.
After having taken down the Tigers Thursday in Brewton 8-3 — the No. 1-ranked W.S. Neal Eagles finished off the Tigers in a three-game sweep to improve to 20-0 this season as they took game one Friday 4-0 and took a 9-1 win in game two.
“It is big,” W.S. Neal head coach Coy Campbell said of the wins over T.R. Miller. “I thought Brian (Settle) threw the ball pretty well for us today (in game one). Getting that 4-0 win was big. It puts us in the playoffs and that has been what we have talked about. We punched our ticket. The kids are playing hard and they are giving me everything that they have got. I am pleased with the way it is going. We have a big series next week with Bayside. We have to win one to win the area championship. That has been one of our goals and we are trying to reach that goal.”
While remaining perfect and sweeping the rival Tigers, W.S. Neal improved to 4-0 in area play and clinched a spot in the AHSAA class 3A state playoffs. While W.S. Neal remained perfect this season, T.R. Miller fell to 11-9 overall and to 1-3 in area play. The loss was the seventh in the last nine ballgames for the Tigers after starting the season 9-2.
Now sitting at 20-0, is the goal for the Eagles to keep the perfect dream alive?
“We talked about that the other day,” Campbell said. “The record of 20-0 is nice…I don’t know…yeah, kind of. We would like to keep it, but at the same time I understand the game of baseball and the ball bounces funny and if everything happens, you just don’t want to lose the wrong game. You just want to keep playing.”
With the playoffs now a certain for the Eagles, just the site and opponent unknown at this time, would Campbell rather see his team go ahead and suffer the first loss and get it over with before the playoffs arrive or take a chance and suffer that first loss in the playoffs?
“With this bunch it is funny, but with a different group of kids you may say something different,” he said. “With this bunch, every day out, we are here to play and we are here to win. It has just been a joy to coach these guys. Again, we are going to come out here and play and however it falls, it falls. I am going to be extremely proud of these guys either way it goes. The hardest part is getting into the playoffs. We are in now. Whether we win the area or we take the runner-up spot…two out of three…I like my chances with a two games out of three series with most anybody.”
W.S. Neal will host Bayside Academy Thursday night at 5 p.m. With a win, the Eagles will be area champions and host Straughn in round one of the playoffs.
Even with a loss Thursday, W.S. Neal can clinch the area with a win in game one Friday at Bayside in a scheduled doubleheader at 4 and 6 p.m.
Bayside Academy will have to sweep W.S. Neal in two games — one on Thursday and game one on Friday— to win the area championship. W.S. Neal has won the area championship in 2008, 2011 and 2012.
The area champion will host Straughn in round one of the playoffs set to begin Friday, April 19, while the runner-up will travel to Opp.
W.S. Neal will host Flomaton Monday at 6 p.m. after a JV game at 4 p.m.
The Eagles will end their regular season on Monday, April 15, with a road game at Tate (Florida) at 6:30 p.m.
T.R. Miller will host Excel Tuesday in a JV and varsity doubleheader at 4 and 6 p.m. before ending their season with a three-game area series with Cottage Hill. The Tigers will travel to Mobile Thursday for a 5 p.m. before returning to Brewton on Friday for a 5 and 7 p.m. doubleheader.
Friday game one: WSN 4, TRM 0
In game one Friday, W.S. Neal shutout the visiting T.R. Miller Tigers 4-0 to punch a ticket to the playoffs and eliminate T.R. Miller.
While holding T.R. Miller scoreless, W.S. Neal scored two runs in the first, one in the third and one in the sixth inning.
Settle went the distance on the mound and earned the win for the Eagles. Settle allowed four hits, no runs, walked four, hit one and struck out 10.
At the plate for W.S. Neal, Jeremy Myers, Damion Williams, Dylan Godwin, Taylor Elliott and Keith Bradley all had singles while Cam Blackman added a double. Godwin had two RBIs.
For T.R. Miller, Darby Black was the pitcher of record. Black allowed six hits, four runs, walked two, hit one and struck out one.
At the plate for the Tigers, Jones Manning, Kevin Davis, Black and Ryan Hunt all had singles.
Friday game two: WSN 9, TRM 1
After the Eagles clinched the series in game one Friday, the two teams met for the third time in the series and fourth overall and final time this year in game two and W.S. Neal took down the Tigers 9-1. The Eagles won all four meetings over T.R. Miller this year.
In the final game between the two teams this year, Keith Bradley earned the win on the mound for the Eagles. Bradley went five innings and allowed two hits, one run, walked four, hit one and struck out three.
Tyler Joyner went the final two innings and allowed one hit, one walk and struck out three.
At the plate, Christian Purvis had a double and Jeremy Myers, Settle and Joyner all had singles. Malcolm Hawthorne had two singles and a double in the win. Purvis and Bradley had one RBI each while Myers and Settle had two RBIs each.
For the Tigers of T.R. Miller, Caden Lodge had a single and scored the lone run of the day for T.R. Miller.
Ryann Gray had a single and Jacob Fillmore had a double.
On the mound, Tripp Floyd took the loss as he went the first two innings and allowed four hits, seven runs, walked four and struck out two.
Ryan Hunt the next two innings and allowed three hits, two runs, walked two, hit one and struck out three.
Fillmore went the final two innings and allowed no runs, no hits, walked one and struck out six.
T.R. Miller’s lone run came in the top of the first inning. From there, W.S. Neal scored two each in the first and third innings and five in the second to get the win by eight.