‘Cats fall in extrasPublished 12:13pm Friday, February 22, 2013
By Ed Bailey
Four errors and a seventh-inning collapse were too much to overcome for the Benjamin Russell baseball team as they lost in eight innings to Opelika by a score of 6-5.
The loss drops the Wildcats to 3-2 on the year.
Extra-base hits were non-existent for BRHS, as all 10 of the team’s hits were singles.
Caleb Brooks went 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs.
Austin Moncus was a perfect 3-for-3 in the game.
Marquis Odem, Blake McClellan, Bryant Horn, Hayden Forbus and Seth Hendon each score one run for the Wildcats.
For Opelika, Gage Young went 2-for-4 with a run scored.
OHS’ Sawyer Stephens scored twice while collecting two hits.
Lawson Butz was also 2-for-4 with a run scored for Opelika.
The Wildcats entered the seventh up 3-1 with the game well in hand thanks to solid pitching by Zac Rogers, Morgan Fuller, Horn and Moncus.
The foursome combined for seven strikeouts while giving up six hits, one walk in seven and two-thirds innings of work.
Hurler Sean Rape was roughed up, being charged with four runs and giving up four hits in a third of the seventh inning.
Of the Bulldogs’ six runs, only four were earned.
The Wildcats tied it in the bottom of the seventh as Brooks plated McClellan and Odem with a two-run single.
Opelika tacked on the deciding run in the top of the eighth.
BRHS head baseball coach Richy Brooks said he was disappointed with the loss.
“I like the way that we fought back when we had an adverse situation,” Brooks said. “We thought we had the game in hand. We needed three outs to end it and we didn’t get those three outs. We gave ourselves a chance but in the end, we’ve got to come through.”
With a Saturday road trip to Sylacauga next on the Wildcats’ schedule, Brooks said the team’s defense would have to improve.
“Defense has cost us two games this year,” Brooks said. “In three out of the five games we’ve haven’t played good defense. That’s something we pride ourselves on. The game is about catching the ball and throwing the ball. When you don’t do that, the good teams make you pay for it.”
With the season still in the early going, Brooks said there is ample time for the team to gel and sharpen.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Brooks said. “Hopefully we’ll get it done.”