Demopolis holds off Thomasville for 5-4 victory

Despite a late surge from Thomasville, Demopolis held on for a 5-4 win over its visiting rival Tuesday night to move to 11-7 on the season.

With the bases loaded and two away in the top of the seventh, Hunter Colyar induced a grounder to second baseman Jamarcus Ezell who rebounded the ball after it caromed off his chest and then threw to first for the out to punctuate the victory.

Thomasville saw eight of its 14 batters reach base over the game’s final two innings but could not manage to get the tying run home from third, leaving the bases loaded to end the game.

“I was proud. Luke (Yelverton) gave us six good innings,” Demopolis coach James Moody said. “We put it in Hunter’s hand. He has been good for us all year. He wasn’t as sharp as he needed to be, but that situation will do wonders for him in the future.”

The visiting Tigers, who stranded nine runners in the contest, put the game into question in the top of the sixth when Nicholas Council launched a two-run shot that plated Zaccheus Woodard and cut the Demopolis lead to 5-2. Two batters later, Christian DeRouen sent a blast beyond the left field scoreboard to slice the deficit to 5-3.

Hayden Megginson walked to lead off the sixth before swiping second base and making his way home a wild pitch to set the game at 5-4.

“We held on. I thought we got away from swinging the bats when we got the lead,” Moody said. “When you get people in a position where you’re moving the ball around pretty good, you’ve got to keep the pedal down. We didn’t do that.”

Demopolis opened the scoring in the third when R.J. Cox singled in Jonathon Lewis. Hunter Colyar made it 2-0 in favor of Demopolis when he scored from third on a Jamarcus Ezell RBI sacrifice fly.

After Yelverton retired Thomasville in order in the top of the fourth, Demopolis kept the momentum going in the home half. Demetrious Davis doubled and scored soon thereafter as Chandler Barton followed suit with is own two-bagger to make it 3-0. After Barton scored on a passed ball, Lewis stretched the lead to 5-0 when he crossed home on a Jay Craig RBI fielder’s choice.

“I just think we were letting the ball get deeper in the zone,” Moody said of the offensive success his team found in the middle innings. “Pitches that were in the zone, especially fastballs, I thought we were taking good hacks at them. We get in trouble when we take fastballs. I just think they came out and they were a lot more focused. That was the big thing we talked about yesterday was the focus and passion. We have to play and play every game hard. I just felt like, Saturday, that we didn’t do that.”

Yelverton (3-0) kept Thomasville largely off balance for five innings of work, holding the visiting Tigers to four hits over five frames before the sixth-inning rally changed the complexion of the contest. Yelverton got the win after striking out five over six innings while giving up seven hits and three earned runs.

Despite notching nine hits, Demopolis had its fair share of struggles as it left 11 runners on base in the contest.

Every Demopolis batter reached base at least once in the game. Lewis finished 2-for-3 with a walk. Colyar and Ezell each walked once. Craig went 1-for-4. Cox finished 2-for-4. Rodrigues went 1-for-2 with a walk and a hit-by-pitch. Yelverton reached on an error. Davis was 1-for-3 with a double. Barton finished 2-for-2 with a double and a walk.

“I hope it puts us in a good place mentally, to win a close ball game against a team that – to be honest with you – totally embarrassed us last time,” Moody said. “We still have a long way to go, but the thing I keep preaching to them is caring for each other and loving each other and just keep getting better at practice in some area. As long as we can continue to do that, we’ve got a chance.”

Demopolis is set to return to area play Friday against Dallas County before hosting the Hornets for a double-header Saturday.