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Wallace splits with Alabama Southern

3/8/2014

                The Wallace Govs blew two separate leads in the first game of their double header against Alabama Southern, but they still managed to rally and win in their last at-bat. A walk-off hit gave the Govs a 6-5 victory.

                But the second game was a completely different story. The Eagles scored eight runs in the sixth inning and blew open what had been a close game. Alabama Southern went on to an easy 11-2 win.

                With the split, the Govs and the Eagles are both 5-3 in Southern Division play. Depending on the outcome of the Faulkner State games, the three schools could remain in a three-way tie for first place.

                “We accomplished what we wanted to today,” Wallace coach Mackey Sasser said. “Our goal was to get a split. We’ve got so many pitchers hurt right now that we are just having to tread water. I’ve had to change up my rotation and throw one of our top pitchers in one series, and another in one of the other series. That is helping us to hold our ground until we get some of our pitchers back, which I hope will be in the next couple of weeks.”

                In game one, the Govs had a three-run lead and a two-run lead only to see the Eagles rally back and tie the game both times. But the climatic end came in their last at-bat.

                In the bottom of the seventh inning, the game was tied 5-5. With one out, Cody Wallace was hit by a pitch. After a strike out and a walk, Jake Brown came through with the hit of the game. Brown lined a single to right field. That plated Wallace with the game ending run.

                “I was trying to get a ball I could hit hard,” Brown said. “So I was looking for something middle-in. I knew I couldn’t hit the ball in the air with two outs. So I was just trying to hit something hard on the ground.”

                Brown was one of the Govs’ bright spots Saturday afternoon. He went three-for-three in game one, with three RBIs, a walk and a sacrifice fly. Brown also had two hits in the game two loss.

                “After we gave up that three run lead, I had no doubt we would come back,” Brown said. “When (Alabama Southern) tied the game the second time, I still felt like we would win.”

                The Govs jumped out to a 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning, thanks to a pair of Eagle errors. The only hit of the inning was an RBI single by Clay Benefield. John Lambright scored on an error, and Brown hit an RBI sacrifice fly.

                But the Govs gave all three runs back over the next two innings. Despite getting two hits in the top of the fifth, one Eagle run scored on a Wallace error, and the other on a ground out. The Eagles’ run in the sixth also scored thanks to a Wallace error. That tied the game at three.

                In the bottom of the sixth, the Govs retook the lead. RBI singles by Brown and Austin Whitlock put Wallace up 5-3. But the Eagles came back with two of their own in the top of the seventh to set up the dramatic finish.

                In game two, the Eagles jumped on Wallace starting and losing pitcher Jake Norton in the first inning. Norton gave up a solo home run to Trevor Flynn, a second run scored on a wild pitch, and Hunter Ellenberg hit an RBI doubl e to give the Eagles a 3-0 lead.

                Wallace got one of the runs back in the second inning. John Hutto doubled and later scored on a Benefield ground out. Whitlock’s sacrifice fly in the third inning plated Lambright. That cut the lead to 3-2.

                But in the sixth inning, the Eagles sent 13 batters to the plate. The first six reached base before there was a single out. The big blow was a three-run homer by Jean Figueroa. Five additional runs were tacked on in the inning to give the Eagles the win.

                Wallace returns to conference play Tuesday afternoon. The Govs will host Bishop State beginning at noon for another double header.

Nathaniel Frazier is Sports Information Director for Wallace Community College baseball. He can be reached at NFrazier@DothanEagle.com.

 

               

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