By Nathaniel Frazier-Dothan Eagle
This time it was the LBW Saints that rallied in the ninth inning for the win. Although they trailed most of the game to the Wallace-Hanceville Lions, the Saints came up with two big runs in the bottom of the ninth to earn a 4-3 win and advance in the ACCC State Baseball Tournament at Northcutt Field.
The Lions broke a 2-2 tie in the top of the eighth inning when they scored a run. Chris Hoffer doubled down the right field line, and two batters later he scored on a single to right field by Jano Waugh to put the Lions up 3-2.
LBW went quietly in the bottom of the eighth inning, and things didn?t look too good in the ninth as the Lions brought in their closer, Craig Kimbrell.
But to open the ninth, Joe Nunnari reached base on an infield single and went to second on a throwing error.
Ritchie Franklin then bunted him over to third base. Against a drawn-in infield, Fletcher Wilkinson came to bat and hit a high bouncing ball to first base.
Wilkinson was safe, and Nunnari scored the tying run. Wilkinson went to second and third base on passed balls. After a long battle in which he fouled off several pitches, Jonathan Materne struck out.
But Seth Basinger came through with the game winning RBI when he singled to right field.
?I knew the pitcher was throwing hard,? Basinger said. ?So I just wanted to get my hands to the ball. I wasn?t nervous, I would just say I was intense.?
And Basinger said this win could mean big things for the Saints the rest of the way.
?Last night?s loss (12-2 to CVCC) was devastating,? he said. ?Winning this game picks our spirits up a lot. We could go on to win this thing now.?
?It does mean a lot,? LBW coach Steve Helms said. ?Both teams were flat, but for us to come back and win a game against a good Wallace-Hanceville team is big.?
Hanceville had won the state tournament the past two years.
This time, they go home after winning only one game.
The Lions had jumped ahead by scoring single runs in the second and third innings. LBW tied the game with single runs in the fourth and fifth innings.
LBW will play at noon today against Faulkner State.
In other loser's bracket action, Faulkner St. defeated Northwest Shoals 3-2 and Southern Union eliminated Wallace St.-Dothan 10-8. Central Alabama will face Southeren Union in the other side of the loser's bracket. Central lost to Chattahoochee Valley 11-0.
Chattahoochee Valley's win put them in game with Shelton St. at 7 p.m. tonight.
To view the updated bracket, click HERE .