Last chance rally falls short for Tigers

Demopolis (23-8) saw its season come to an end Saturday after early miscues dug the Tigers’ an insurmountable hole in an 8-6 loss to Valley in the first round of the Class 5A state playoffs.DHS vs Valley 3-0166

Demopolis had an opportunity to dig itself out of a hole in the top of the seventh when Brock Montgomery singled to open the inning and ultimately scored on a passed ball to cut the score to 8-5.

Mason Rogers absorbed a pitch to the back before scoring on a RBI groundout by Devin Stroud to make it 8-6.

Tyler Oates reached on an error with two away and gave way to courtesy runner Seth Aiken. A Michael Brooker hit-by-pitch and a Walker Davis walk loaded the bases for the Tigers before a fly ball to left field ended the game.

DHS vs Valley 3-0215“We dug ourselves too big of a hole,” Demopolis head coach Ben Ramer said. “We still gave ourselves an opportunity. In big games against good people when it comes down to getting big two out hits, sometimes you get them and sometimes you don’t. That’s just the nature of the game.”

Demopolis opened the scoring in the top of the second when Stroud singled, stole second base and scored on a passed ball.

The lead proved short lived as Valley used miscues and timely hitting to hang a four spot on the board in the home half of the second.

William Henderson reached on an error and later scored on a single by Luke Thompson to tie the game. A dropped fly ball with two outs allowed Blake Justiss, Tyler Wright and Matthew Crews to score to put Valley up 4-1.

The Tigers struggled again in the bottom of the third when they allowed four runs for the second consecutive frame.

James Nathan Nix singled and scored on an error for the fifth run of the game. A Crews single plated Justiss for the 6-1 lead before Matt Foster stroked a double to the gap to plate Thompson and Crews for the 8-1 advantage.DHS vs Valley 3-0288

The Tigers began to chip away at the Rams’ lead in the fourth when Oates singled to score Wesley Anderson, who reached on an error.

Demopolis manufactured another run in the fifth when Josh Mangum led off with a single and scored on a RBI fly out by Rogers to make it 8-3.

Will Tucker hit a two-out single in the sixth and gave way to pinch runner Michael Brooker, who scored on an error to make it 8-4 and set the stage for the final comeback effort in the seventh.

“I sure am proud of our kids,” Ramer said.” I thought they had a good season. I enjoyed coaching them. It was a fun season. It’s just a tough pill to swallow. I thought we had a really good opportunity to move on.”

Valley goes on to face Marbury next week in the second round of the playoffs.

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