Demopolis splits playoff double-header with Alabama Christian

20150418 DHS vs Alabama Christian-2140Demopolis snapped a seven-game losing streak just in time Saturday afternoon, downing Alabama Christian Academy 10-5 in game two of a first-round Class 5A playoff series.

The win, which knotted the series at a game apiece and forced a rubber game set for Monday at 4 pm., saw Tripp Perry work the full seven innings while striking out seven and surrendering only four hits and a single earned run.

“I don’t know if it bothers them near as much as it does me,” Demopolis coach James Moody said of the losing streak his team carried into the playoff series. “They’re just kind of day to day and whatever happens, happens. Certainly, you don’t want to go into a playoff series not having seen live pitching in 10 days and not playing well. But they found a way to bond together and Tripp kept us in the ballgame. We finally got a few hits to give him some breathing room.”

Perry surrendered a solo homer to Chandler Taylor with two outs in the first inning before going through 16 straight Eagle batters without surrendering another hit.

Ryan Schroeder scored on an error in the top of the first for the Tigers before the Taylor homer tied the game. ACA took a 2-1 lead in the third when Drew Dauphin scored on an error.

Demopolis broke through in the fourth inning, scoring five runs with two outs to take a 6-1 lead. Chandler Barton scored on an error to tie the game at 2-2. Wil Stephens and Hunter Colyar then scored on a two-RBI single by Ryan Schroeder to put Demopolis up 4-2. Schroeder and Jordan Grace then scored on an error to set the advantage at 6-2.

“I was really proud of the five spot in the sixth inning, to get it from a one-run game to a four-run game. That’s a big difference,” Moody said. “I thought we were kind of playing not to lose a little bit in the second game. That’s when I told them, ‘Play to win. Play to win and what happens, happens.’”

ACA got one of those runs back in the bottom of the inning when Dusty Young scored on a Dauphin single.

The Eagles pulled even closer in the fifth when Chandler Taylor and Grayson Blackwell scored on an error to set the ACA deficit at 6-5.

Demopolis pulled away in the sixth when Jamarcus Ezell stroked a two-out double into the right-centerfield gap to plate Colyar and Grace, pushing the Tiger lead to 8-5. Jay Craig and Ryan Morrisson then scored on passed balls in the seventh to set the lead at 10-5.

“I think we had some big hits in key situations,” Moody said. “We got a couple of bases on balls and were able to have some big two-out hits with runners in scoring position.”

The win came on the heels of an extra-inning affair in game one that saw Demopolis lose 4-2 in eight frames. Despite striking out 18 times in the contest, the Tigers led for most of the game.

“That first game was heartbreaking the way it went down,” Moody said. “I’m proud of them. We’re in it still and have got a chance.”

Perry scored on a R.J. Cox RBI fielder’s choice in the third inning before Jonathan Lewis came home on a Seth Aiken RBI single in the fourth, leaving Demopolis up 2-0.

ACA started chipping away in the sixth as Dauphin scored on an error to cut it to 2-1.

Cooper Cordle entered as a pinch hitter with two outs in the seventh and ripped a double to plate Nich Dodson and tie the game.

ACA took the lead for the first time in the eighth when Michael Taylor scored on a Larry Freligh sacrifice fly. Chandler Taylor later scored on an errant throw.

Taylor did the work on the mound for ACA, striking out 18 batters while scattering three hits and issuing three walks.

Luke Yelverton matched him frame for frame through most of the contest, striking out eight over eight innings and surrendering only two earned runs.

“He deserved better than what he got. He really did. I would say, nine times out of 10, if you pitch like that, you’re going to win. But it’s playoff baseball. The stakes are a little higher. Everybody is a little tighter,” Moody said. “But I thought he was absolutely outstanding. He’s got some bulldog in him and he did an outstanding job of keeping his composure, throwing strikes, keeping people off base and really deserved a little better than what he got.”

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