Bears take down Central Coosa in opener

Published 4:25 pm Tuesday, February 24, 2015

 Billingsley’s Dalton Davis reaches out to tag home plate as the ball goes by in a Feb. 21 matchup with Central Coosa.

Billingsley’s Dalton Davis reaches out to tag home plate as the ball goes by in a Feb. 21 matchup with Central Coosa.

By BRANDON SUMRALL/Special to The Advertiser

It took extra innings, but the Billingsley Bears pulled off a 7-6 win in their season opener Feb. 21 against the Central Coosa Cougars.

With James Barnett handling the hurling for Billingsley, the Bears retired the Cougars in order in the top half of the first inning.

The Bears kept the momentum going in the bottom half of the first inning and tacked on three early runs.
Dalton Davis led off the inning with a walk, and a Tyler Powell single gave the Bears two men on and no outs.

A Thomas Nichols double to left centerfield scored Davis and Powell, while Nichols later scored on a Dylan Chavers infield ground ball.

After one inning of play, the Bears led 3-0.

Two strikeouts by Barnett and a long fly ball to Eric Willis brought the Cougars’ second inning to a close, but a three-up, three-down inning for the Bears brought the second inning to close with no change in the score.

The Cougars stranded two in the top of the third when Willis pulled in another fly ball to centerfield, and a two-out single by Joseph Nixon did nothing to help the Bears as the score remained the same at the end of the third.

Another three-up, three-down inning by the Cougars and a one-hit inning by Billingsley in the forth kept the score 3-0 in favor of the Bears.

Both teams picked up one run in the fifth inning as a single by Randy Clark led to an RBI single by James Saxon, and the Bears answered on a Dylan Chavers infield ground ball that scored Nichols.

After five innings of play, Billingsley led 4-1.

Jordan McDonald started the sixth inning by reaching on an error, and a single up the middle by Logan Bevels gave the Cougars two on with no outs.

Infield ground balls by Bevels and Saxon cut the Bears’ lead to one, and with the Bears stranding Kendall Elrod on third in the home half of the inning, Billingsley clung to a one-run lead after six innings of play.With the game heading to the seventh inning, the Cougars faced a one-run deficit.

A walk to William Pearce led to an RBI single by Zachary Dew, and a double by Jordan McDonald scored Dew.
McDonald scored on a ground ball to short to give the Cougars a 6-4 lead.

Nichols started the home half of the seventh with an infield single, but two consecutive outs saw the Bears down to their final out and down two runs.

With Nichols on third, Jarrett Acreman reached base to represent the tying run after being hit by a pitch. A shot to center field by Willis scored Nichols and Acreman to send the game into extra innings.

The Cougars’ eighth inning came to an end on a ground ball back to the mound that stranded Stover, who reached on a double to left center field.

After a ground ball out back to the mound to start the home half of the eighth inning, Dalton Davis represented the winning run after reaching on a walk.

A ground ball to the short stop by Powell looked to be the second out of the inning, but the throw sailed past the first baseman as Davis made the turn around third to just beat the throw at the plate to account for the game-winning run.

Nichols led the Bears at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a single, double and two RBI.

Barnett threw six innings for Billingsley on the mound while recording four strikeouts, allowing one earned run and issuing one walk.

A 10-run first inning, along with three more in the second, led the Bears to a 13-2 win in Game 2 of the doubleheader.
Nichols pitched five innings, allowing four hits and one earned run.

Joseph Nixon led Billingsley at the plate with a 2-for-2 performance with a single, double and three RBI.