Thursday, May 1, 2008
Troopers oust Indians from playoffs
By BARRY BURLESON
The Byhalia Indians lost their second round state playoff series. But they didn’t lose their fight.
After dropping game one 9-1 Thursday at Mooreville, the Indians returned home Friday for game two. They trailed 10-1 after five and a half innings and could have quit. But not this group.
“This team will fight; they will battle,” said head coach Bubba Brown. “They play hard.”
Byhalia scored seven runs in the bottom of the sixth and suddenly sliced the deficit to 10-8 before being eliminated 12-8 by the Troopers.
“This team lost a lot of close ball games this season,” Coach Brown said, “and we had some come-from-behind wins. I was well-pleased with their attitudes and their desire to give it their all.”
In game two, Mooreville went up 2-0 in the top of the second, courtesy of two hits, two walks and one batter hit by a pitch.
The Troopers upped their lead to 4-0 in the top of the fourth. With two outs, a walk was followed by two straight hits, the latter scoring two runs.
Byhalia got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth. Chris Hill’s double off the fence in left-center field scored Cody Wiley, who had reached on a fielder’s choice.
Mooreville had its biggest inning in the fifth, scoring four runs on two hits, a wild pitch and a couple of Byhalia errors. The Troopers went up 8-1.
The visitors added two more runs in the sixth on two more hits and two more Indian blunders.
Byhalia then got five of its eight hits in the bottom of the sixth. Lamarcus Hardaway drove in two with a hit to left field. The next run scored on Mooreville’s wild pitch. Marcus Thomas knocked in two more with a hit to right field. Andrew Brown grounded out to short but scored a run, and then Pat Malone drilled a triple to left-center field and picked up a run-batted-in. It was Malone’s second hit of the inning. He led off the offensive outburst with a single. Marcus Franks added a bunt single in the sixth.
The Troopers, who had 11 hits in the victory, got their last two in the top of the seventh and added some insurance as they went up by four.
Byhalia was retired quickly in the bottom of the seventh - three-up, three-down.
Dean Miller started and took the mound loss. Throwing in relief were Tavaris Neal and Andrew Brown.
For Mooreville, Drew Miller earned the mound win and also produced three hits from the batter’s box.
In the game one loss at Mooreville, Byhalia’s lone run came on a Hill’s homer.
“We only had four or five hits,” Coach Brown said. “We hit it right at them all night long.”
Miller was the losing pitcher and D.J. Gregory the winner. Brown tossed in relief for Byhalia.
Brown loses seven seniors - four starters, Hill, Miller, Wiley and Thomas; three non-starters, Zack Cook, Marquise Green and Jeremy Jones.
“Overall, we had a really good season,” Brown said. “We were competitive all year long. We’re losing some good players, but we have a lot of kids returning, too. We also have some JV boys who will step into the program and fill some shoes.”
Mooreville advances to play Lewisburg in a best-of-three series this week.
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