Tornadoes take extra-inning thriller

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 15, 2000

It appeared that Greenville Academy and Lowndes Academy were going to light up the scoreboard when they met at Beeland Park on Friday. However, after the Tornadoes charged back from a 6-1 deficit, the two teams settled into a tie game that ended on a wild pitch in the ninth giving the Tornados an 8-7 victory.

Greenville Academy head coach Charles Oswald said the game began to turn around when relief pitcher Adam Moore came into the game.

"We got a little better pitching and that helped the entire defense play better. He gave up a walk and a hit early but then settled down. He was able to get ahead in the count which allowed our defense to play better behind him," Oswald said.

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After giving up six runs early in game, the Tornados were looking at a five-run deficit in the third. With two on and no outs, Clint McGough cut into that lead by driving Josh Beverly home on a hard-hit double to left-center field. Andy Beck, who had made it to third on McGough's double, came home on a wild pitch, making the score 6-3. The wild pitch would prove to be very costly as it also allowed McGough to move over to third, setting up a sacrifice fly by Justin Kimbrough and after the third inning, GA was down 6-4.

The Tornados continued to play well offensively in the fourth. With two on and one out, Josh Beverly walked to load the bases. With Emory Winters at the plate, a Lowndes Academy relief pitcher sent the ball to the backstop allowing another run to score. The lead that once was five runs was now only one with GA down 6-5.

But, in that same at bat, Winters hit a blistering single into left field that drove in two runs, giving the Tornados their first lead of the game, 7-6.

However, Lowndes Academy

answered with a run of their own in the fifth and the score remained knotted at seven until the ninth inning.

Josh Beverly started the ninth with a double down the rightfield line. He immediately advanced to third on a wild pitch. With Beverly representing the winning run on third base, the Lowndes Academy pitcher sent another pitch to the backstop and Beverly beat the throw to homeplate and the Greenville Academy dugout began to celebrate their come-from-behind, extra-inning victory.

"They didn't give up and played well down the stretch," Oswald said. "Our defense began to play better because our pitching got better and that was what enabled us to come back."

With the win the Tornados go to 2-0 on the season with their other victory coming against Sparta Academy.

Greenville Academy did have a game scheduled with Dixie Academy on Saturday; however, due to rain the game was canceled.

The Tornados played Bullock Academy last night and will travel to Calvary Academy on Friday.