Straughn wins invitational

Published 12:02 am Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Straughn’s Andrew Burleson slides into home during earlier action against Opp Saturday. The Tigers went on to beat Opp 10-3 to advance to the invitational title game against Dale County. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Straughn got a come-from-behind win over Dale County Saturday to win its own invitational tournament for the second time in a row.

Trailing 6-1, Straughn scored seven runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, and pulled away late to beat Dale County 11-6.

Straughn will face Dale County again today in a doubleheader in Dothan at 4 p.m.

Dale County took a 6-0 lead after the first two innings.

Straughn’s Zack Lunsford took over on the mound, and pitched three scoreless innings for the Tigers to get the win. He allowed one hit and no runs, and had four strike outs.

After Lunsford came in, Straughn got on board in the fourth on an RBI double from Cody Hughes.

In the seven-run fifth inning, the Tigers got things on a roll after loading the bases with no outs and Josh Dewrell up to bat. Dewrell was walked, and scored Lunsford to make it 6-2.

Straughn baseball coach John Fussell said the turning point of the game came when his team loaded the bases.

“We did exactly to them what they did to us in the first two innings,” Fussell said about the fifth inning. “They started pressing, and squeezing a little bit. We were just playing relaxed.

“We need everybody on this ball club to do their role and to be unselfish,” he added. “If we do that, then I’ll be happy. Dale County has a good team. They’re very well-coached. They have good athletes.”

Luke Fussell then hit a sac fly to cut Dale County’s lead by three runs.

With runners on first and second, Straughn’s Nick Allen, who finished 1-for-3, hit an RBI double to make it 6-4.

Dewrell then came in on a baulk, and Hughes hit an RBI double to tie the game up 6-6.

Straughn took a two-run lead going into the sixth inning on an RBI single from Zack Stinson, and an RBI from Lunsford.

“I’m extremely proud that they overcame some obstacles,” Fussell said. “A couple good things started happening, and they kind of went from there.”

Dewrell, who got the save, came in for Lunsford in the top of the sixth inning, and finished with four strike outs.

The Tigers scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth on RBIs from Fussell, Hughes and Stinson.

Fussell was 1-for-2 with one run; Hughes was 1-for-4 with one double; Lunsford was 1-for-2 with one triple; and Zack Turvin was 2-for-3 with two runs.

In earlier action at the invitational, Straughn beat Opp 10-3 to advance to the finals.

Opp 18, Beulah 8

The Bobcats trailed 6-0, and scored eight runs in the fifth inning on their way to a 10-run win Saturday.

Drew Smith was 2-for-4 with two singles and two runs; Dillan Zigler was 2-for-5 with two singles; Trey Short was 2-for-4 with two singles; Steadman Gerber was 2-for-4 with two singles; Lance Robbins was 1-for-3 with one double; Jantzen Flowers was 1-for-3 with one single; and Thomas Weed was 2-for-3 with one double.

Greenville 12, Red Level 2

Red Level’s Jordan Walker was 2-for-3 with two singles; Troy Nolen was 1-for-3 with one single; and Raheem Bullock was 1-for-3 with one single.

Red Level’s two runs came in the third inning on three hits.

Greenville’s Jay Johnson, Nick Davis, Raymond Moody, Rush Nimmer and Harper Vinson were 1-for-4 for Greenville.