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Wallace, LBW split a pair of games

4/5/2014

                  The pair of games Saturday afternoon between the Wallace Govs and the LBW Saints ended with a split. And while each team came away with a win, neither coach was happy.

                “Both teams played baseball,” said LBW coach Steve Helms, while Wallace coach Mackey Sasser added “LBW played better than us today, but somehow we came away with a split.”

                The “somehow” came in the form of a wild pitch. That one bad throw was the difference in game two as the Govs came away with 5-4 victory in game two.  In game one, LBW pitching frustrated Wallace and the Saints earned a 3-1 win.               

In game one, LBW’s Chance Calloway was really sharp on the mound. Initially the Govs had trouble just get runners on base. In the final three innings, they got runners on base but couldn’t get them in.

                Callaoway pitched a complete nine inning game. He only gave up nine hits, struck out four, and allowed only a single run.

                “I didn’t try to do too much,” Calloway said. “I just kept the ball low and let them get themselves out. I threw more sliders than I did any of my other pitches.”

                Even though he took the loss, the Govs Jordan Martin allowed fewer hits. Martin gave up five hits, struck out five, and allowed only two earned runs.

                The Saints jumped on top of Martin and the Govs in the top of the third inning. Mason Rogers walked and went to second on a ground out. Two batters later Michael Tedford singled to knock in the first run of the game. Tedford later scored on the first-and-third double steal play.

                The Saints added their third run in the eighth inning. Brandon Pugh singled, and later came home on RBI single by Brandon Mayhann.

                It was in the seventh that Wallace was finally able to get base runners. John Hutto singled and Drew Eady doubled down the left field line. Even though the Govs had no outs and two runners in scoring position, they did not score at all.

                In the bottom of the eighth, the Govs got two more base runners, and this time managed to score one of them. Alex Watson singled, and three batters later pinch hitter Clay Benefield brought him home with his single to center field.

                The Govs again had two base runners in the ninth inning, but once again they did not score.

                Game two was a back-and-forth affair. The Saints got on the scoreboard first when Mason Rogers hit a solo home run over the fence in left field off Wallace starter Wes Carter.

                But in the bottom of the first, Wallace answered with four hits and three runs of their own. Clay Benefield hit a two-run single and Troy Smith had an RBI single to put the Govs up 3-1.

                But LBW tied the game in the third. Roquel Marsh scored on a ground out from Brandon Mayhann, while Brandon Pugh—who reached base on a bunt single—later scored on a wild pitch.

                The Govs retook the lead in their half of the inning when  John Hutto scored on a double play ball from Troy Smith. That put Wallace up 4-3.

                The Saints tied the game in the top of the fifth, thanks to an RBI single from Trey Matherson. After that, things got crazy.

                First, the Govs took the lead in the bottom of the fifth. It happened when Austin Whitlock reached base on an error. Without the benefit of a hit or a bunt, Whitlock later scored on a wild pitch that turned out to be the game winner.

But in the top of the sixth, LBW was called for its third out when the umpire ruled Pugh, who was batting, interfered with the catcher’s throw when he was trying to get the runner out at second.

The confusion carried over to the seventh inning. Rogers led off the inning for the Saints, but as soon as he reached base, the Govs protested, saying the Saints had batted out of order.  The umpire agreed so the Govs managed to get the first out in an unusual way. In addition Rogers ended up getting two at-bats in the inning just so the batting order would be correct.

Despite all of that adversity, LBW still loaded the bases and had the go-ahead run in scoring position.  But Austin Whitlock moved from third base to the mound to get the final out.

Even with all the craziness, the Govs ended up taking two of the three games in the series from the Saints. The Govs are now 13-6 in conference play. The Govs will step out of conference play Tuesday when they travel to Thomasville to take on Thomas College. The Govs return to conference play next weekend at Monroeville against Alabama Southern.

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

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