Wallace sweeps Alabama Southern--at two ball parks
Wallace St. Dothan
By Nathaniel Frazier
Media General News Service
Saturday was a crazy day at the ball park for the Wallace Govs. Make that ball parks. First, all the Govs needed to do was win one game against the Alabama Southern Eagles and they would definitely be in the state tournament. They did that with a wild 12-11 come from behind victory in game one.
Then, leading 10-1 and needing only one run or six outs in game two, the contest was moved to Westgate Park. That?s because it got too dark to continue at Wallace. So the two teams and their fans loaded up and drove across town. The Govs quickly got the Eagles out in order and then added a run to claim an 11-1 victory.
The sweep not only put the Govs in the state tournament, but also set them up to claim the Southern Division championship. Wallace (22-6, 41-13 overall), only has Enterprise-Ozark left in a pair of make-up games.
?It feels real, real good to be back in the state tournament,? Wallace coach Mackey Sasser said. ?It?s especially sweet because this is probably our last year hosting the tournament. Now all we?ve got to do is take care of business against Enterprise and we should be in really good shape.?
If the Govs are able to sweep Enterprise Monday, the conference championship would almost certainly be theirs. That?s because LBW lost two games to Faulkner on Saturday. The importance of the conference championship is a bye on the first day of the tournament.
?We hit the ball better today than we have in over two weeks,? Sasser said. ?Both teams made some mistakes in that first game, but our guys never quit.?
In that first game, the Govs went into the sixth inning of a scheduled seven inning game with a one-run lead, 7-6. But the Govs gave up five runs to go down by four. But in the bottom half of the inning, the Govs scored four runs to tie the game. Then in the bottom of the eighth, the Govs got the one run they needed to win the game.
Michael Precise led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a double over the head of the centerfielder. It was Cody Shields job to get the runner over to third base. Against a somewhat drawn-in infield, Shields hit a high chopper to short stop. Precise took off for the third and it appeared as though he may have been out with a good throw. But the throw got by the third baseman and Precise was able to trot home with the winning run.
In this back-and forth contest, the Govs used six pitchers to get the win. Chris Corley, who pitched the eighth inning, got the win. The Govs were able to pound out 13 hits in the contest.
Offensively Shields led the way for the Govs. He was 3-for-5 including a two-run homer as well as getting the game winning fielder?s choice. His former BayHigh School teammate, Andrew Starr was 2-for-4 with three RBIs, including a two-run homer of his own. Michael Precise was 2-for-5 with double and an RBI, and Ben Shelley was 2-for-5 with an RBI.
Dave Mason pitched a complete game gem in the Govs blowout win in game two. He gave up five hits, struck out five, and the only run he allowed was unearned.
The Govs hit two more home runs in this contest. Precise (2-for-4) hit a solo shot in the second inning. Shelley (2-for-4) hit a three-run blast in the fifth inning. Also swinging a hot bat in this contest were Ryan Starr who went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two walks, Brent Hardy who was 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Eric Hanssen who was 3-for-4.
The Govs final regular season games will get underway Monday at in Enterprise.
Nathaniel Frazier is Sports Information Director for Wallace College and covers Wallace baseball for the Dothan Eagle. He can be reached at NFrazier@DothanEagle.com .