Published 12:02 am Friday, March 29, 2013
Straughn’s Lane Sirmon hit a two-run single in the top of the sixth, and the Tigers’ defense played solid behind their pitching to beat Excel 4-2 in area action Thursday night.
The Tigers and Panthers were tied 2-2 in the sixth inning when two runners — Straughn’s Rollin Kinsaul and Keith Edgar — reached on errors with no outs.
Daryl George reached on a hit by pitch to load the bases with one out.
On his first pitch, Sirmon laced a hard hit down the left-field line to score Kinsaul and Edgar to give SHS its eventual game-winning runs.
Defensively, Edgar and the rest of the Tigers’ field contingent held together and made plays when necessary, SHS coach John Fussell said.
“They played pretty well defensively,” Fussell said. “We had a few blunders, but I thought our pitching was real good. We didn’t walk a lot of batters. We walked some batters in inopportune times.
“I thought the pitchers threw well,” he said. “I was real proud of Keith Edgar with the way he kept his composure.”
Despite pitching the no decision, Edgar allowed two runs on three hits and struck out three in five innings.
Straughn winning pitcher Tucker Lawless — a lefty — allowed no runs on one hit and struck out one in two innings.
Behind Edgar, the Tigers’ defense made some critical outs throughout the contest. Sirmon, at catcher, caught a runner going to second on a steal to shortstop Johnny Owens for the third out in the third inning; and Edgar, who was in right field in the seventh, bounced back from an error and threw the runner out coming back to second base after misjudging the turn for the second out.
For the last out of the game, Straughn’s Taylor Messick first allowed a runner on his error, but regrouped and threw the runner from third out at home.
Hitting wise, the Tigers put together their four runs on six hits in the game.
Sirmon went 3-for-3 with two singles and a double, along with his two RBIs to lead SHS. Chase Short, Lawless and Edgar had one hit each.
Additionally, Messick went 0-for-2, but hit in the tying RBI in the top of the fifth inning on a ground out to make it 2-2.
“We swung the bat pretty well,” Fussell said. “That was their No. 1 (Cody Waters). I was pleased with the way we swung the bat.
“I thought we bunted well when we had to bunt it,” he said. “We’ve just got to clean it up a little bit defensively, but I’m glad we are where we are. I’m glad of that way that they played.”
Excel led 1-0 after the first inning on an RBI single from Dusty Greene that scored Clinon Tuberville, who reached on an error.
The Panthers added another run in the top of the second on an RBI single from Waters that scored Garrett Casey with two outs.
SHS cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the second when Edgar hit an RBI single that scored Lawless.
Sirmon’s big hit in the sixth inning was huge, Fussell said.
“He was hot all day,” the coach said. “We kind of swung it well up and down the line.”
With this win, Straughn improves to 12-8 overall, and 1-0 in Class 3A, Area 2. The Tigers will complete their area series with the Panthers today at Excel for a doubleheader starting at 4 p.m.