Pleasant Home defeats Florala, 11-4

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pleasant Home coach Bradley Stephens characterized his team’s 11-4 win over Florala Tuesday night as a game where the other team “came and played.”

“Florala came and played (Tuesday night),” Stephens said. “Florala can play. They’re in the hunt for the playoffs in their area. They’re excited and played excited baseball.

“I feel like we came in real dead (Tuesday night),” he said.

Down 2-1 in the top of the seventh inning, the seventh-ranked Eagles scored three runs to take a 4-2 lead off of a critical error by the Wildcats.

To start off the inning, Hunter Odom reached on a walk and later scored on a sacrifice fly from Blake Herman to tie the game 2-2.

On Herman’s fly out, Sid Newby left second base early and was ruled out and Josh Godwin stayed on third base. Godwin had reached on a walk.

Then, Pleasant Home’s Ethan King hit an infield pop up to Florala’s Hunter Oswald, but Godwin scored on a dropped ball, which enabled King to score on an error.

Stephens said the turning point of the game came during the seventh inning.

“It was just us being able to capitalize on the mistakes,” he said.

The Eagles (17-7) lead 4-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning, but Florala wasn’t done yet.

The Wildcats scored two runs on one error and one passed ball.

“The score doesn’t indicate what kind of ball game our players had,” Florala coach Stan Gooden said. “I thought we showed a lot of character coming back in the seventh to tie it up. We had the winning run on third base on two outs to tie it up and that showed a lot of our team out there.

“We came back out and made some errors in the field that kind of hurt us,” he said. “We just kind of lost our focus. Pleasant Home is a heck of a team. They will do well in the playoffs. We’ve still got a chance to win Thursday and that’s what we’re going to do.”

With two outs, Florala’s Jonathan Burleson scored on a passed ball and Oswald scored the tying run on an error.

Throughout the game, Pleasant Home only committed one error compared to Florala’s two and that turned out to be the difference in the game.

Pleasant Home took Florala’s chance and hopes of winning on senior night away when in the eighth inning, the Eagles scored seven runs on four hits, one walk and one hit-by-a-pitch.

Colter Poole started the inning with a single, and then Odom was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and third.

Newby came up to the plate and hit a clutch two-run double to score Poole and Odom to help his team take a 6-4 lead.

Newby then advanced to third base on an error by Florala (10-18) and scored on a passed ball.

King scored Godwin on a single and Fernando Torres scored Herman on a double in the next two at bats.

King and Torres later scored on passed balls to seal the win for the Pleasant Home Eagles.

Godwin earned the win for Pleasant Home on the mound coming in in relief for Torres.

Godwin said it was “tough” coming in at that point of the game.

“I came in the middle of the inning and wasn’t completely warm,” he said. “I’m not the best pitcher anyway and I just had to throw strikes and try to let my team play defense. It ended up working out and they stayed behind me and it ended up working for me.”

Godwin pitched 2.1 innings allowing two runs on two hits, three walks and had five strikeouts.

The Eagles scored the first run of the game in the third inning on a sacrifice fly from King to score Godwin.

Florala matched Pleasant Home’s run in the bottom of the third on an RBI double from Zac Fleming to score Burleson.

Godwin was 2-for-5 with one single, two walks and three runs; Herman was 2-for-5 with one double, one single, one RBI and one run; King was 1-for-5 with one single, three RBIs and two runs; Torres was 1-for-5 with one double, one walk, one RBI and one run; Poole was 1-for-5 with one single and one run; Forrest Greathouse was 0-for-2 with two runs; and Newby was 2-for-4 with two doubles, two RBIs and one run.

Oswald was 0-for-4 with one run; Fleming was 2-for-4 with one single, one double, one RBI and one run; Erik Vega was 1-for-4 with one dingle; Gavin McCurley was 2-for-4 with two singles; Zack Taylor was 1-for-4 with one single; John Bess was 1-for-4 with one single; and Burleson was 2-for-3 with two singles and two runs.

Pleasant Home will host Laurel Hill on Thursday at 4 p.m. and Florala will travel to play Kinston in area action. If the Wildcats win one game against Kinston, they will be able to make an appearance in the first round of the Class 1A state playoffs next Friday.