Late game magic falls short for Verbena

Published 10:27 pm Friday, March 24, 2017

By Brandon Sumrall | Special to the Advertiser
In a game that appeared early on as if it may end before its scheduled seven innings, the Verbena Red Devils varsity baseball team battled back to make it a game in a 10-9 loss to the Billingsley Bears on March 23.

Verbena got on the board first in the top of first inning with a leadoff single by Eric Mims. He later scored on a wild pitch.

However, Verbena fell behind just as quick, as the Bears answered with four runs of their own in the home half of the inning.

Singles by Johnathan Shields and Robert Glass gave the Bears two aboard with two outs, but a error by the Red Devils off a infield groundball by Walker Motley scored Shields to tie the game at one.

The Bears were not done just yet and tacked on two more with a two-RBI double by Jordan Thompson and another with a RBI single by Matt Snow.

After one inning of play, the Bears held a 4-1 lead.

The Billingsley defense retured the Red Devils in order through the top of the second and put their bats to work once again in the bottom half of the inning.

A walk to Drayton Dubose and a double by Austin Harrell led to two Billingsley runs on a Red Devils error from a groundball by Shields.

With two runs already on the inning, a single by Motley plated one more Bear base runner and gave Billingsley a 7-1 lead after two.

Verbena picked up two runs in the top of the third with a two-RBI single by Jason Adams and saw the inning come to a close having cut the Billingsley lead to four.

After a scoreless top of the fourth inning, the Bears added one more run on a RBI single by Motley to send the game to the fifth with Billingsley leading 8-3.

A single by Tristan Short to start the fifth inning led to an RBI single by Justin Quinn and with the Bears stranding three base runners after a pair of strikeouts, the game moved to the sixth with the Bears leading 8-4.

A walk to Joshua Smitherman and a single to Ja’Starza White gave Verbena two aboard with one out and would later give the Red Devils two more runs on the board after a pair of Billingsley errors.

The Bears answered the two runs scored by the Red Devils with two runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth on a run-scoring sacrifice fly by Snow and a RBI single by Larry Starks that sent the game to the seventh with Billingsley leading 10-6.

Quinn got the inning started by reaching on a Billingsley error, but an infield groundball and a fly ball to left center knocked Verbena down to their final out.

An error on a fly ball to left by Austin Barber scored Christian Schoener and would set up a two-run home run by White to cut the Billingsley lead to one.

Another error put the tying run aboard, but a fly ball to center field was pulled in by Starks and eventually sealed the win for the Bears.

Thompson led Billingsley at the plate with a 2-for-4 performance with a single, double and two RBIs.

Harrell got the start on the mound for the Bears and threw six innings while allowing four earned runs, on six hits, with seven strikeouts and three walks.

White went two-for-two with a single, home run and two RBIs to lead Verbena, while Mims handled the pitching and threw five innings with six hits, four walks, one earned run and five strikeouts.