Wallace takes over first place with sweep of LBW
Wallace St. Dothan
By Nathaniel Frazier
Media General News Service
Round one goes to the Wallace Govs. In their battle with the LBW Saints for first place in the conference, the Govs won both games of the double-header Tuesday afternoon.
Basically it boiled down to two bad innings for the Saints, and in both cases the Govs took advantage. In the first game, the Saints bad inning was the second which resulted in Wallace scoring five runs in route to a 7-4 victory. In game two, the bad inning came in the fifth. Wallace scored its only three runs in that inning and won 3-1.
The sweep means the Govs?at least for the time being?are alone at the top and in first place in the Southern Division. Wallace is now 18-2 (37-9 overall). The Saints drop to 14-3.
?It was a couple of good games between to two good teams,? Wallace coach Mackey Sasser said. ?It?s going to be that way the rest of the week.?
?You cannot give a good team free bases and extra outs,? said LBW coach Steve Helms. ?That will get you beat every time.?
It certainly got the Saints beat in the second game. LBW was on top 1-0 thanks to a second inning solo home run by Seth Basinger. But in the bottom of the fifth inning, Ryan Stovall led off by reaching base on an error by the LBW short stop. Then to make matters worse, Stovall should have been picked off first base. But he managed to get into a run-down just long enough to safely get back to first base.
?We had the guy out twice and he was still on base,? Helms said. ?If we had gotten him out, we might have won the game 1-0.?
But instead, Stovall was bunted to second base, and then advanced to third on a single by Ernesto Gonzales. The Saints still had a chance to get out of the inning when a safety squeeze by Ryan Starr only resulted in out and no run scoring. But then a Brent Hardy single to deep short stop plated the first run. After a walk to Ben Shelley, a single by Andrew Starr plated the two go-ahead runs.
After that, winning pitcher Dave Mason and reliever Ernesto Gonzales were able to shut down the Saints.
Despite pitching well, former Rehobeth player Daniel Holder took the loss for the Saints.
In the first game, the odd thing about the Govs five-run second inning is that it was done with only two hits. The LBW pitching staff simply fell apart in the inning. The Saints went through three pitchers in order to get three outs. The combination of pitchers hit three batters and walked three more. Only Gonzales and Ryan Starr got RBI singles. Shelley and Andrew Starr both collected RBIs when they were hit by pitches with the bases loaded. Michael Precise was also credited with an RBI when he walked with the bases loaded.
But in the top of the third the Saints made the game interesting Chris Corley, who picked up the win for the Govs, ran into trouble after a long stay in the dugout. He quickly loaded the bases with no outs. Then Brock Kelley cleared them with a three-RBI double.
The Saints got a run closer in the top of the sixth. Brock Kelley hit into a fielders choice but the run scored, bring the Saints to within one run, 5-4.
However the Govs put some distance between the two teams when they scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth. The runs scored on an RBI single by Andrew Starr and a sacrifice fly by Precise.
Chris Corley picked up the win for the Govs. He pitched 6 2/3 innings to get the victory. Waldemar Bravo got the save, pitching the final inning and 1/3.
Kevin Fox took the loss for LBW. He only pitched an inning and 2/3.
?It was intense and it was competitive,? Helms said. ?We could tell we were playing a confident team. We?ve got to regroup and see what we can do Friday.?
It was certainly intense. A total of 10 batters were hit by pitches in the two games. In addition, bodies were flying all over the place in the two contests. The most violent of which was a collision at the plate between Hardy and LBW catcher Thomas Menery in the second game. Both players were injured, but both players refused to leave the game.
The nine-inning game will be played Friday in LBW at The final double header will be played a Saturday.