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Wallace falls to Faulkner State

5/1/2014

Wallace falls to Faulkner

 

By Nathaniel Frazier

nfrazier@dothaneagle.com

 

                As Wallace coach Mackey Sasser put it, “It was a very good pitching duel.” Wallace sophomore Sawyer Betts battled Faulkner left handed pitcher and future Troy Trojan Austin Crook toe to toe. The result was one of the quickest nine-inning games of the season.

                But Sawyer and the Gov defense made a couple of mistakes and that turned out to be the difference in the game. The Sun Chiefs came away with a 3-2 victory.

                Although the Govs knew they were headed to the state junior college baseball tournament, because of the loss they now know who they will play. Wallace will play Chattahoochee Valley next Friday night at 7 p.m.

                The deciding run in this contest came in the top of the seventh inning. Justin Ware led off for the Sun Chiefs with a single to center field. After a bunt and a ground out, Ware ended up at third base. The Sun Chiefs, who bunted in every situation regardless of the outs, employed that strategy again. Marshall Rolin bunted to Gov third baseman Austin Whitlock. Whitlock’s throw to first was wide of the mark and Rolin came around to score.

                “In a good pitcher’s duel, little things matter,” Sasser said. “That’s how they scored all of their runs.”

                Faulkner jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Betts hit Corey Wheaton, the first batter he faced. The next batter, Alex Raley bunted, and Betts fell down as he fielded the ball. Two batters later, both runners came home on an RBI single by Caleb Lopes.

                Wallace tied the game in the bottom of the fourth inning. Drew Eady led off with a bunt single of his own. John Lambright was going to bunt, but when the third baseman made a very aggressive charge toward the plate, Lambright pulled the bat back and doubled down the left field line. That put runners on second and third. Alex Watson’s sacrifice fly brought home the first run, and a sacrifice fly by Tanner Emmons scored the second run.

                But that was it for the Gov offense. Wallace managed only two more base runners over the next five innings.

                Crook, now 11-1 on the season, pitched a complete game and struck out nine to earn the win. Betts tossed seven innings, struck out two, and gave up seven hits. The winning run was unearned.

                Wallace (16-12 in conference play) and Faulkner (20-8) will complete their three game series Saturday afternoon. The double header will get underway at 1 p.m. on the Wallace campus.

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