Red Level comes up just short

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Red Level Tigers put up a strong battle, but fell 7-6 to W.S. Neal on Tuesday night in the final night of the 2019 Butch Youmans Spring Break Tournament in Opp.

In the top of the first inning, W.S. Neal took advantage of a walk, a single and a pair of errors to take an early 3-0 lead.

Chance Russell picked up a two-out single in the bottom of the first, but the Tigers were unable to move him any further.

In the bottom of the second inning, Braxton Lee got things going with a one-out double.

Lee was then able to come around to score on a hard hit ball by Xavier Phillips.

Cody Shepard then ripped a two-out single that moved Phillips around to third.

Kade Green followed with a single that scored Phillips and trimmed the gap to one run.

W.S. Neal picked up another run in the top of the third inning after scoring on a dropped third strike.

Russell singled to start the bottom of the third inning and later came around to score on hit from C Spears to make it 4-3.

W.S. Neal increased their lead to 6-3 with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth inning.

B Pate started off the bottom of the fifth inning with a double and the Russell brought him around to score with a triple.

A few pitches later, Russell scored on a wild pitch.

Red Level then tied the game with a sharp single from Jake Jeter.

With the game tied 6-6 in the bottom of the sixth, the lights around the field suddenly went dark.

Someone accidentally turned off the wrong lights.

After about a 20 minute delay, tournament officials moved the game the main field to finish.

W.S. Neal then picked up a run in the final frame and held off the Tigers for a 7-6 victory.

“I’m very proud of the way the kids fought,” Red Level head coach Todd Smith said. “We were down and we came back. We’ve just got to play better defense. We hit the ball well enough to give ourselves a chance to win, but I think we gave up five errors on defense. That’s something we’ve got to clean up and when we put that all together (pitching, hitting and defense) we are going to be a pretty good baseball team. We still got to clean those things up. I was very proud of the way we hit the ball. We were very aggressive at the plate and ran the bases well. On defense, we have to give our pitchers a better chance. We have to play better defense. I thought Chance Russell did a great job coming in there at the end and giving us a chance to win. I was very proud of the way that our team battled the whole game.”