The Dadeville Tigers had the lead by as much as three runs in the early going Monday afternoon against Handley but when the dust finally settled, the program was left with a crushing 11-10 loss.
“It was back and forth, we did battle,” Dadeville head coach Curtis Martin said. “We had that one inning where we gave up seven runs. It started with two errors and it got them back in the ball game and got them up by three runs but that fourth inning was crucial. We gave up those seven runs and it off of those two errors.”
Ethan Adcox didn’t have a bad start on the mound for Dadeville and it didn’t hurt that Caleb Bice and Tripp McKinley combined for the first three runs of the game. But that’s where things began to unravel for the Tigers.
Handley finally got to Adcox on the mound a bit in the third inning to engineer a few runs but the Tigers were still in the driver’s seat. Even in the top of the fourth inning, Dadeville found three more runs to grab the 6-2 in the fourth inning.
But it all changed in the bottom of the fourth inning. The defense gave up back-to-back errors and a run scored because of them opening a series of issues that plagued the program. The bases-loaded up and Handley drove in one run with an RBI single, Adcox struggled with command a bit and hit a batter for the next run shrinking the lead down to 6-5.
A fielder’s choice found the game tied but Handley, with a few outs to work with, managed to take the lead for the first time in-game. A lead they’d enjoy for awhile as Dadeville began to struggle offensively.
“I know there was some bad officiating at the end but we shouldn’t have even been in that situation,” Martin said. “If we don’t give up seven in the fourth inning, we win easily. Hands down. But with good teams, they capitalize on mistakes and that’s what they did to us today.”
Neither side could score after the seven runs Handley put on the board in the fourth inning but Dadeville managed to get the lead back in the sixth with four runs scoring. A tough call at home nailed a scampering runner at the plate ending the inning on a double-play.
It was bad enough Dadeville missed out on the run, it was worse when the result was decided by the missed opportunity.
Handley tacked on two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning for the 11-10 lead and the Tigers missed out at the plate with no runners managing to reach the basepaths.
Area play for the Tigers starts next week but the loss is still tough for the program.
“It is tough, momentum is key with baseball,” Martin said. “It’s about having guys making routine plays. If we can have guys make routine plays, the sky is the limit. If we can’t make the routine plays then we’re going to struggle to win ballgames. That’s what happened today. If we can’t make the routine plays it’s going to come back and bite us.”