Four-run fifth leads to Tigers’ first win of season

Demopolis (1-1) turned the tables the second time through the order Friday night, hanging four runs in the fifth inning of a come-from-behind 5-3 win over Leroy.

After having struck out six times over the first three innings and trailing 3-0, the Tigers came to life in the fifth when Demetrius Davis hit a leadoff single to center field. A Jamarcus Ezell sacrifice and a Luke Yelverton walk gave the Tigers runners on first and second with one away. Chandler Barton ripped a base hit to left-center to plate Davis and get Demopolis on the board.

“I just think they just kept battling. We kind of got away from what we’ve worked on the last two days: spreading out, using our hands more and shortening our swings. We were just gearing up those first two or three innings for the Waddill kid and we get long when we do that and we’re not good,” Demopolis coach James Moody said of his team’s turn around in the fifth.

“They’ve got to understand that, when things are going bad, that’s what we’ve got to do. When we’re struggling as we all are, they’ve got to think ‘middle away, middle away.’ We preach it until they’re sick of it, but think ‘middle away’ to give yourself a chance to let that ball travel.”

Jonathon Lewis walked to load the bases before Hunter Colyar shortened his swing and poked a hit through the right side of the infield to score Yelverton and Barton and tie the game. R.J. Cox picked the same spot for his opposite field single, sending Lewis home to put the Tigers up 4-3.

In the sixth, Ezell reached on an error before Barton singled him in for the 5-3 advantage. That proved more than enough for Yelverton, who came in to close the game in the seventh.

Cox (1-0) picked up the win, entering in the third inning and working three and two-thirds while allowing only three hits, striking out two and walking none.

“You know what you’re going to get out of R.J. I think what he did was he calmed us down a little bit. And then when we started having a little bit of success swinging the bats, we got a little confidence. We had basically played about 13 innings of no confidence,” Moody said. “There isn’t a coach in America that can give confidence to them. They’ve just got to work through it and get it on their own. Hopefully it’ll carry over a little bit and we can build from tonight.”

Yelverton (1) fanned two in a hitless inning for the save.

Jacob Rodrigues and Jay Craig also recorded a hit apiece in the game.

Demopolis is set to continued tournament play Saturday at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. against Hale County and Clarke County.

“A win is always good. It always helps. But I am sure we’re going to see a very good pitcher tomorrow from Hale County. Our pitching is going to be a little thin too. We’re going to have to have some guys go out there and give us some quality innings. And we’re going to have to score some runs early to take some pressure off of them,” Moody said.