‘Cats drop two in classic, down Beauregard to advance to finalPublished 10:11am Friday, March 29, 2013
By Ed Bailey
BRHS 8, Beauregard 7 (Lake Martin Classic semifinal)
Austin Moncus and the Benjamin Russell Wildcats baseball team now know what the 1986 New York Mets felt like in game six of the World Series.
What looked to be an easy play for Beauregard turned into a dramatic victory, as BRHS scraped by the Hornets 8-7 in eight innings to advance to the 2013 Lake Martin Classic championship game.
The victory came with bases loaded for the Wildcats and two outs in the bottom of the eighth. Down to his last strike, Moncus rapped a short roller down the first base line but the ball rolled between the Hornets’ first baseman’s legs, allowing Marquis Odem to score.
Moncus had two RBIs for the Wildcats (14-12), who improved to 3-2 in the Classic.
The game was back and forth all afternoon.
After the Wildcats jumped out ahead in the second inning, the Hornets responded in the fourth, plating three runs off of BRHS starter Craig Crouch.
The Wildcats came roaring back in the bottom half of the fourth, as Moncus delivered a single that scored pinch-runner Kyle Robinson. Hayden Forbus knotted the game up with a sac fly that allowed Zac Rogers to score.
The Hornets retook control in the top of the fifth, scoring to make it 4-3, but Moncus answered for the ‘Cats, delivering a double that scored Bryant Horn and gave BRHS a 5-4 lead.
The Wildcats seemed to have the game completely sown up in the sixth inning when, after Sean Rape reached on one of six Beauregard errors and Odem reached on a single, Horn ripped a line drive down the left field line that plated Odem and Rape.
The Hornets then chased Crouch after loading the bases and scoring a run.
Moncus was then forced into pitching duty, and he was unable to get out of the jam unscathed, as Beauregard tied the game at seven.
Emotions then ran high as BRHS Richy Brooks was ejected for arguing with an official after Blake McClellan was not awarded first base when he was hit by a pitch.
The Hornets threatened in the eighth with runners on first and second, but Moncus retired the side, setting the stage for BRHS’ win.
Check the weekend edition of The Outlook for a recap of the Lake Martin Classic title game.
BRHS 5, Russell Co. 7
Despite jumping out to a 5-2 lead after the first inning, the Wildcats were unable to hold off Russell County, falling 7-5.
Zac Rogers took the loss, allowing 11 hits and seven runs in six innings of work. Rogers struck out five batters.
The Wildcats batted around in the bottom of the first, getting RBIs from Austin Moncus, Blake McClellan, and Morgan Fuller.
Fuller drove in two on a single.
The other run was scored when one of five Russell County errors led to Sean Rape crossing home plate.
The Wildcats couldn’t score again, while the Warriors chipped away at the Wildcats’ lead.
Russell County scored once in the third, twice in the fifth, and twice in the sixth to overtake BRHS.
“We continue to struggle to get big hits,” BRHS head baseball coach Richy Brooks said. “I thought we fought our guts out. I was happy with that. But if we don’t start hitting, we’re going to continue to struggle.”
BRHS 4, ACA 6
BRHS’ Braxton Pitts was roughed up by Alabama Christian Academy, which scored five first-inning runs on their way to a 6-4 win.
The Wildcats scored twice in the bottom of the first and twice in the bottom of the second in order to close the gap, but ACA added one more run.
It ended up being too much for the Wildcats to overcome.
Marquis Odem had a strong day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with 2 RBIs and a run scored. He also swiped a base.
Bryant Horn collected a hit with a RBI and a stolen base.
Sean Rape and Blake McClellan both went 1-for-3 with a run scored.
Hayden Forbus had the final hit for the Wildcats.