Florala keeps rolling with 8-3 baseball win at Straughn

Published 11:00 am Tuesday, April 2, 2024

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Florala scored the final five runs of the day and pulled away from a fourth-inning tie for an 8-3 win over Straughn in a varsity baseball game on Monday, April 1.

The Wildcats won their eighth straight contest and improved to 11-1 on the season, while the Tigers fell to 10-9.

Cody Walsh lined a one-out double in the top of the first and scored the first run on an RBI single by Easton Walsh. Ayden Brooks then drove home E. Walsh as Florala built a two-run lead. Jacob Laura loaded the bases on a walk, but Ryan Cobb fought back with a strikeout. Saxby Radford made a sliding catch in center for the final out. C. Walsh struck out the first two Straughn batters and worked around a walk to Matt Ashberry to preserve the 2-0 lead after one inning.

Rayshon Coleman opened the visiting second with a single before Dalton Jackson doubled. C. Walsh then lifted a sacrifice fly to center as the Wildcats extended their margin to 3-0. Layne Grantham reached on an error in the bottom half and put the Tigers on the board when Eli Guilford delivered an RBI double. Guilford took third on a wild pitch before C. Walsh struck out the side and left the score 3-1 at the end of two innings.

Christian Carnley walked in the top of the third, but Cobb held Florala in check with a pair of strikeouts. Ashberry began a two-out rally with a ringing double into right-center and hustled home on an RBI double from Taylor Sikes. Grantham took first on an errant throw, and Sikes scored the tying run. After a walk to Guilford, both runners moved up on a wild pitch. Straughn settled for the 3-3 tie after C. Walsh ended the inning with a strikeout.

Jackson hit a two-run blast to left and drove in Coleman for a 5-3 lead in the visiting fourth. The Wildcats then loaded the bases with one out on an error and back-to-back hit batters. Following a strikeout, E. Walsh came home on a wild pitch and upped the lead to 6-3. Ashberry took over on the mound and also collected a strikeout for the final out. C. Walsh set the Tigers down in order on just 12 pitches as the score remained 6-3 with four innings completed.

Jackson launched his second homer of the game in the visiting fifth for a 7-3 lead. Ashberry drew another free pass in the bottom half of the frame before consecutive strikeouts by C. Walsh ended the inning.

Each team put a base runner aboard in the sixth but went quietly as the action moved to the seventh.

Coleman lashed a leadoff triple in the top of the seventh and scored the final run on an RBI single by Jackson. A balk put two runners into scoring position, but Ashberry capped the frame with a fielder’s choice and pop-up. E. Walsh struck out two in a 1-2-3 bottom half and ended the game.

Jackson went 4-for-5 with two runs scored and four RBIs for Florala. Coleman finished 2-for-3 and also scored two runs. C. Walsh was the winning pitcher and allowed three runs (one earned) on four hits with three walks and 15 strikeouts.

Guilford and Ashberry both had 1-for-2 showings for Straughn, while Sikes and Mack McIntyre were 1-for-3. Cobb gave up six runs (five earned) on six hits with three strikeouts and five strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings. Ashberry was charged with two earned runs on four hits and had two walks and a strikeout in 3 1/3 innings of relief.

Both teams will face area opponents on Tuesday, April 2. The Wildcats travel to Pleasant Home, while the Tigers remain home and welcome Hillcrest-Evergreen in a doubleheader.