Straughn falls in playoffs
Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 17, 2010
Straughn ended its season Friday night in the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs to Dale County, where the Warriors won the first game 4-3 and forced the mercy rule in the second game, winning 14-4.
“(Dale County) well-coached and they hit the ball well,” Straughn coach John Fussell said. “I thought we played well in the field and I thought we hit the ball real well.
“They made the routine plays and then they made the plays that weren’t routine,” he said. “I don’t think our team was flat. I don’t think they were not focused. They were ready to play. It’s just one of those things where it doesn’t always work out the way you want it to.”
The Tigers ended the 2010 season with a 27-8 record.
This was Straughn’s fourth appearance in the first round of the playoffs.
Dale County 4, Straughn 3
Dale County’s Justin Woodham earned the win for the Warriors on the mound allowing three runs on nine hits in seven innings of work.
The Warriors (19-9) gained an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning on an RBI single from Daniel Lawrence to score courtesy runner Robert Turner.
In the bottom half of the first inning, the Warriors’ defense stepped up and made a clutch 6-4-3 double play to end the inning with runners on first and third.
Dale County managed another double play in the fifth inning when left fielder Henderson threw a runner out at second and then the short stop threw a runner out at first.
“As you can tell our pitchers have to throw backwards,” Dale County coach Drew Danner said about his team’s infield play. “That’s no secret to us and we just rely on our defense and our defense came up and made some big plays in the first game and made some big plays in the second game. The double play balls were big in the first game and if we didn’t get them it would have been a different ball game, especially in that first inning.”
Then, Straughn evened the score up on a solo home run from Nick Allen in the bottom of the third inning.
Dale County scored three runs in the top of the fourth inning to give it the needed insurance for the one-run win.
Dale County’s Michael Norwalk and Lawrence hit a single each, and the next two batters struck out.
Aaron Henderson walked to load the bases and Norwalk scored on an error.
Lawrence and Henderson came around to score on a double from Dakota Finley.
Straughn wasn’t done with its run total yet as in the bottom of the seveth, Chase Short and Josh Dewrell scored on a two-run single from designated hitter Drew Jones.
Henderson was 1-for-4 with one single and one run; Finley was 2-for-4 with one single, one double and two RBIs; Woodham was 1-for-4 with one single and one run; Norwalk was 1-for-3 with one single and one run; and Lawrence was 2-for-3 with two singles, one run and one RBI.
Dewrell was 3-for-4 with three singles and one run; Allen was 3-for-4 with two singles, one home run, one RBI and one run; Jones was 2-for-4 with one single, one double and two RBIs; and Short was 1-for-3 with one single and one run.
Dale County 14, Straughn 4
Dale County scored nine runs in the third inning to defeat the Tigers in five innings in the second game.
“I tell the kids that hitting is contagious and they started hitting the ball and putting the ball in play,” Danner said. “We hit it where they wanted to and we just caught the breaks there. We were fortunate in that one big inning. Of course, any coach will take it that’s for sure.”
Finley scored on an RBI double from Woodham; Rogers scored on a sacrifice grounder from Zack Byrd; Woodham scored on a sacrifice grounder from Devan Dykes; Norwalk and Lawrence scored on a two-run single from Brandon Jackson; Jackson scored on a single from Finley; Henderson scored on a double from Rogers; and Finley and Rogers came in on a single from Woodham.
Straughn started the game with a solo home run by Dewrell on a 1-1 count.
Dale County prevailed in the bottom of the second scoring two runs on a double and an error.
The Warriors added two additional runs in the bottom of the second inning on a two-run double from Jackson to score Dykes and Henderson to take a 4-1 lead.
Straughn brought the game back to two-runs in the third inning on a sacrifice fly from Cody Hughes to score courtesy runner Levi Lumpkin.
The Tigers added two runs in the fifth inning on another solo home run by Dewrell and an RBI single from senior Chase Parker to score Luke Fussell.
Dale County sealed the win in the bottom of the fifth on a RBI single from Norwalk.
Dewrell was 2-for-3 with two home runs and two RBIs; Fussell was 1-for-3 with one double and one run; Allen was 2-for-3 with one single and one double; Parker was 1-for-3 with one single and one RBI; and Zack Turvin was 1-for-2 with one single.
Henderson was 3-for-4 with three singles and two runs; Finley was 2-for-3 with two singles and two runs; Rogers was 3-for-4 with two doubles, one single, four runs and two RBIs; Woodham was 2-for-4 with one single, one double and three RBIs; and Jackson was 2-for-3 with one single, one double and four RBIs.
Byrd earned the win pitching five innings. He allowed four runs on seven hits and had three strikeouts.
On the season as a whole, Fussell the team got a lot accomplished.
“We had a lot of success against Andalusia,” he said. “We beat Wicksburg two-out-of-three and we got the Luverne jinx off of us. I felt like the way the playoff bracket works out, either Dale County, Headland or Luverne will make a little noise. All three of those teams are good teams and I’m proud of my players.
“It has been an honor and a pleasure to coach them and it has been an honor to work and coach for this school,” he said.