Tigers stumble

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 17, 2005

The Greenville High School Tigers have been on a roll since the first pitch was thrown to open the 2005 season. That roll has continued during their latest three-game set.

The Tigers made short work of Hillcrest-Evergreen Friday afternoon.

Dusty Coker toed the rubber with the pitching duties and proceeded to handcuff the Jaguars with a no-hitter. Offensively, the Jags weren't able find a way to stop the bats of the Tigers. Coker also recorded a homer in the victory.

Brandon Anthony sent one over the fence and then Josh Booker added a grand slam dinger in Greenville's sixth win of the season.

"Hillcrest was another 10-run game for us," said Curtis Gray, coach of the Tigers. "We hit the ball well and we started to get more clean base hits. We are starting to hit the ball pretty well."

On Monday night the Greenville Tigers had to use a big sixth inning to down the Brantley Bulldogs. Brantley jumped ahead 1-0 in the second inning but then, in the top of the sixth, Greenville's bats came to life.

The Tigers strung together five consecutive base hits. The rally was initiated by Lynn Lewis's single. Brad Heartsill singled advancing Lewis and the Brandon Burnett ripped a single scoring both Lewis and Heartsill and putting the Tigers up 2-1. But they weren't finished there.

Dusty Coker singled to push Burnett across the dish, moving the score to 3-1 and then Brad Heartley hit a sacrifice fly deep into the outfield to score Coker.

Brandon Burnett had the opportunity to see things from the other side of the field as he was relieved of his catching duties for the night and was tabbed the starting pitcher. After giving up one run, Burnett and the Tiger defense shut down their opposition.

Burnett, who is unbeaten on the season recorded 11 strikeouts and was relieved by Hartley who tack on four more "K's" to pick up his second save of the season.

Greenville improved to 7-0 on the season with the victory.

Tuesday night however, the Tigers got to see how the other half lived.

The Russell County Warriors came to town and lived up to their billing.

After walking the first batter, that Tiger pitcher Scott Corley faced, the pitcher made the mistake of hanging a curveball to the second one.

Cory Rasmus took said curveball for a ride with one swing of the bat. The towering homer cleared the pines and wound up near the Day Park parking lot.

Things went downhill from there for the home-standing Tigers.

The Warriors' Daniel Esparza grounded out to Corley, but his throw to Coker at first went a stray and allowed Chris Geiger to score putting Russell County up 4-0.

With an 8-0 lead, Rasmus came up to the plate again and hit his second homer of the inning pushing the score to 10-0.

"This was ridiculously high, and I did everything I could to keep it from getting that high by putting all my kids in," said Tony Rasmus, coach of the Warriors. "They had a long weekend and came out flat against Heuytown and Gardendale so they were a little more determined this week to come out and put on a good show and swing the sticks and there was nothing I could do, it was just good hits."

The Tigers were finally able to get out of the inning, and put a runner on base in the bottom of the inning.

Heartsil sent a hard grounder to second, the ball was recovered but the throw was wide and allowed him to advance to second. That's as far as he got though.

Grey made a pitching change and brought in Coker.

Who faired a little better than his predecessor, but the result was still the same.

The Warriors continued to drill the Tiger pitching staff for the second and third inning. But, in the bottom of the inning, Lynn Lewis doubled to right field and then was moved to third on a sacrifice fly by Heartsill and then scored on an errant throw from the right fielder to the thirdbaseman giving the Tigers their lone run, 16-1.

Greenville rattled off two hits in the bottom of the fourth inning. Booker singled to centerfield and then Hartley singled to deep second, but back-to-back strikeouts ended the inning.

"I know the score looks terrible, but we made plenty of errors," said Gray. "That's most errors we've had in a game all year. It's the simple errors, dropping a ball or booting a grounder. I was telling the guy that when you play good teams like this you can't give them an error. They only have three outs and that's all you have to give them and you can't give them an extra out like we did."

Russell County tacked on two homers in the top of the fifth to bring the score to 30-1 and shut down the Tigers to end the inning and the game.

The Tigers will be back in action this weekend on Friday when they travel down to Eufaula for their first regional game of the season.

"When we get to Eufaula we need to jump on them quick," said Gray.

Russell County will be back in Phenix City for the weekend when they play host to Paul Bryant High School from Tuscaloosa .