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“Dropping the Hammer”: TRM baseball beats Excel in Rd. 1, prepares for Opp in rd. 2

By Adam Robinson
sports editor

The T.R. Miller Tigers jumped on the Excel Panthers early and often Monday afternoon as they roared to an 11-0 win to advance in the class 3A state playoffs.
The Tigers of Brewton scored six runs in the second inning and added one in the fourth and four more in the fifth to get the win by the 10-run mercy rule.
Hunter Brittain earned the win on the mound for T.R. Miller as he went five innings and allowed no runs, five hits, walked two, hit one and struck out three.
At the plate for T.R. Miller, Jones Manning had two singles and three RBI.
Drew Williamson added a single and two RBI while Kyle Davis had a double and drove in two runs.
Brittain had a single, Tripp Floyd had a single and one RBI along with Jo Jo Booker.
Zac Griffin added a single along with Caden Lodge.
“We swung it well today,” T.R. Miller Tiger head coach Jim Hart said. “Hunter did a great job out here on the mound today. It helped having Kyle behind the plate today to help run the show. We didn’t kick it around and we didn’t put them on base. We made them earn it today. The big inning that we got all the runs today, they struggled a little bit right there. I was tickled to death with that and then we came back later on and swung it again. That’s the way we need to play. We are going to have to play with good defense and get some good pitching. We have to hit the ball and we did those three things today and I was proud of that.”
Shawn White took the loss on the mound for Excel as he went 4 1/3 innings.
Chaztin Taylor had two singles, Garrett Casey added one along wit Lawrence Hyde and Cole Blackmon.
T.R. Miller improved to 22-9 with the win while Excel finished their season 16-10. The Tigers will host Opp Friday in round 2 at 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. If needed, the teams will play at noon Saturday.
Opp and T.R. Miller met earlier in the season during Opp’s Spring Break tournament.
Opp defeated T.R. Miller 11-1 and went on to win the tournament.
“We played Opp in the tournament over there,” Hart said. “The thing is now, they have to come over here. That kind of helps us out. We don’t play bad at home and we are looking forward to it. It has been a while. We want to ride this as long as we can.”
The win for T.R. Miller was their first first round playoff win since 2006. That year T.R. Miller made the quarterfinals before losing to Montgomery Academy.

Saturday split:
The T.R. Miller Tigers baseball team squared off against the Excel Panthers Saturday in the first round of the class 3A state baseball playoffs and split.
Excel stunned T.R. Miller in game one as they took down the Tigers and starting pitcher Kyle Davis 10-7 to take an early 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.
With their season on the brink of ending with a loss in game two, T.R. Miller earned a 3-1 win to even the series and force Monday’s deciding game. With the split, Excel improved to 16-9 while T.R. Miller moved to 21-9.
“In game one we made too many mistakes,” T.R. Miller Tiger head coach Jim Hart said. “We put people on base by hitting them and walking them and made five errors. You are not going in the area and you are not going to win hardly against anybody, much less in the playoffs when you do that. We shot ourselves in the foot. We came back in the end and played hard. That part I was proud of that, but we put ourselves in a hole and just had to scrap right there at the end to get back in it. Game two was a little bit different. We swung it better and did some things. I thought Tripp (Floyd) really pitched well. We will see what happens Monday. That is why they give you two out of three. We will just have to see.”
T.R. Miller defeated Excel earlier in the year in Brewton 9-0 in the first game of a doubleheader before falling in game two 4-3 to the Panthers. The loss to Excel was the first loss of the season for T.R. Miller.
Saturday’s game one:
Excel 10, TRM 7
Down 10-4 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning in game one Monday, T.R. Miller rallied to cut Excel’s lead to 10-7 but left the bases loaded to suffer the three-run loss.
The two teams were scoreless after two innings of play before Excel scored one run in the third inning and four in the fourth to grab a 5-0 lead over T.R. Miller. The Tigers plated two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to cut the lead to 5-2. In the fifth, Excel again plated four runs to grab a 9-2 lead over T.R. Miller.
T.R. Miller added two more in the sixth to cut the lead to 9-4. T.R. Miller outscored Excel 3-1 in the seventh inning, but could not get any closer as they took the loss by three.
Davis took the loss on the mound for T.R. Miller as he went five innings and allowed nine hits, nine runs, walked two, hit four and struck out eight.
Ryann Gray went the final two innings and allowed two hits, one run, walked one and struck out two.
At the plate, Jones Manning had a single while Hunter Brittain had a double and a single and two RBIs. Floyd had a double and one RBI while Zac Griffin had a single and one RBI.
Chris Jones chipped in two singles and one RBI while Jo Jo Booker had a single and one RBI and Caden Lodge had a single.
Saturday’s game two:
TRM 3, Excel 1
In game two, T.R. Miller benefited from a three-run second inning and Floyd pitched a one-run game to lead the Tigers to a 3-1 lead over Excel.
With all three of T.R. Miller’s runs coming in the second inning, Excel’s lone run came in the fifth.
Floyd went seven innings on the mound and allowed six hits, one earned run, walked three and struck out five.
Drew Williamson had a single and two RBIs while Floyd added a double and Griffin had a single. Booker added a single while Lodge had two singles and one RBI.
T.R. Miller’s runs in the third inning came with two outs in the inning.

About Adam Robinson

My name is Adam Robinson and I have been the Sports Editor of the Brewton Standard since September 2007. I cover all the local sports in the Brewton area. I am a 2007 graduate of Troy University with a degree in Print Journalism with a contract in Sports Information. I married Shari Lynn in June of 2007 and we welcomed our first child, Hatlee, in April of 2010.

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