Wallace sweeps Andrew in season opener
It is very early in the season, but as some of the Wallace players joked after their double-header sweep of Andrew College, “We’re undefeated!”
That is the case for the Govs after they beat the Andrew College Tigers Saturday afternoon. The first game was a nail biter, as the Govs let an early lead slip away and then came back to win 4-3. The nightcap went a little easier as Wallace cruised to a 12-5 victory.
“We played well for the opening games,” Wallace coach Mackey Sasser said. “I saw some things we need to work on. But overall we played good defense and we pitched well. I’m encouraged, but we’ve just got to keep it going now.”
Three first inning runs weren’t enough for the Govs in that first game. It took a run in the bottom of the fifth inning and clutch pitching in the final two innings to seal the deal.
With the score tied 3-3, Austin Whitlock led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a single to centerfield. Troy Smith bunted him to second base, and he moved to third on a wild pitch. Two batters later, Seth Evans hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield. That plated Whitlock with the game winning run.
After that, it was up to Jordan Martin to close things out. Martin came on to pitch the final two innings, striking out four in the process and not allowing a hit.
“It was just good to finally play,” said Martin who didn’t pitch in the fall because of a shoulder injury. “I felt comfortable out there and I didn’t try to do too much. I just relied on my defense.”
The 2014 season got off to a good start when Jake Brown led off the bottom of the first with a single to left field. After walks to Whitlock and Troy Smith loaded the bases, John Hutto singled to left to score the first run. That was followed by Evans’ single to right to plate two more and put the Govs up 3-0.
But in the top of the fourth, RBI singles by Handley Boyd and Tim Manning off Wallace starter Wes Carter cut the led to just one.
Reliever Jacob Moye gave up the game tying run the very next inning. Taylor Bently singled and later came home to score on a single by Cole Murphy.
The Govs also scored three runs in the first inning of game two. Those runs came on an RBI double from Troy Smith and a two-RBI double from Clay Benefield.
The Tigers did score two runs in the top of the second inning off Wallace starter Sawyer Betts. But this time they never caught up.
Hutton added an RBI single in the bottom of the second. RBI singles from Drew Eady and Jack Bradford along with a Tiger error led to three more runs in the bottom of the third. That increased the Govs lead to 7-2.
After that, the Govs were never seriously threatened again. The Tigers scored two runs in the fifth and one in the sixth to cap off their scoring. But Wallace added two runs in the bottom of the fifth and three more in the sixth to ensure there would be no comeback.
“Overall it was a good day,” Sasser said. “What we’ve got to do now is find our one through nine in our lineup. We’ve also got to determine who our starters are and who our relievers are going to be. We know who our closer will be. Hopefully the weather will cooperate for a while and we can get a few things figured out.”
The early season schedule continues to be in flux. Wednesday’s game against Chipola was originally scheduled to be played in Dothan. Now that game has been move to Marianna. As of now, the Govs next home game is February 12 at Rehobeth against Darton College.