FDA hits winning streak, takes three over weekend
After suffering a loss in their second game of the season, the Fort Dale Academy Eagles is now on a roll as they have downed five straight opponents. This past weekend they continued their winning ways as they downed Monroe Academy on Friday, 10-0 and then took a doubleheader from New Life Academy on Saturday, 10-4 and 8-6.
Once again the FDA pitching led the way in the game against Monroe Academy as Todd Nicholas dominated on the mound as he gave up no hits and struck out 14 of the 16 batters he faced. The only baserunner for Monroe reached on an error.
"He was on," said head coach Jim Brantley. "It was a positive outing for him because he placed his pitches and gave up no walks. He was getting ahead in the count and his location was great. I was very impressed with the way he was throwing the ball."
The Eagles jumped on Monroe from the very beginning of the game. In the first inning, Bill Cates singled, followed by a double from Marshall Watts. Both runners scored on wild pitches to Nicholas, who earned the walk. Dustin Holt followed with a single and a two-out walk by Stephen Sorrells loaded the bases. Mal Winters increased the Eagles' lead to 4-0 with a two-run hit. Daniel Miller and Josh Smith earned consecutive walks to reload the bases. Cates, batting for the second time in the inning, cleared the bases with a double. With one on and two out, Watts came up to the plate and smashed the ball over the fence for a two-run homer, lifting the lead to 10-0.
The Eagles scored all of their runs in the first inning and Nicholas did the rest as he sat down opposing batters.
Leading hitters for FDA included Cates, who went two for two with a double, Watts, two for two with a double and homerun. He also scored twice and had two RBIs.
During the first game of the doubleheader against New Life Academy, FDA took the lead in the second after a single by Holt and a double by Adam Robertson put runners on second and third. Holt came home two batters later on a fielder's choice hit by Clint Philpot, giving FDA a 1-0 lead.
The Eagles added another to their lead in the bottom of the third as a two-out double by Watts set up an RBI opportunity for Nicholas who delivered a single that allowed Watts to come home to make the score 2-0.
A walk, error and wild pitch set up a big inning for New Life as they came back to retake the lead in the top of the fourth, 3-2.
In the bottom of the fifth, Smith led off with a single and then got to second on a steal. Cates doubled, scoring Smith and tied the game at three. Watts and Nicholas both reach base to load the bases when they were hit by the pitcher. A single off the bat of Holt brought home two runners and FDA took the lead 5-3. A single by Robertson and a fielder's choice by Sorrells each brought in one run. Daniel Miller hit a fielder's choice for an RBI and Smith singled for one more run. By the end of the inning, FDA had taken control of the game with an 8-3 lead.
FDA scored one more in the sixth when Watts was hit by a pitch followed by a double by Nicholas. Holt and Robertson both hit into fielder's choices that allowed Watts and Nicholas to score making the score 10-3.
New Life scored one more in the seventh to make the final score, 10-4.
Watts was the pitcher for the game. He gave up five hits and struck out ten on his way to earning the victory.
Leading batters were Robertson, who went four for four, Nicholas, two for three and Smith, two for four.
The final game was much closer. But, FDA was able to come away with their third victory in two days by a final score of 8-6.
New Life jumped on top early and took a 3-0 lead over the Eagles.
FDA came back in the second inning. Robertson reached on an error and advanced to second with a steal. He came around to score on a double by Philpot. Michael Holleyfield earned a walk, followed by a single by Sorrells that brings Philpot home, cutting the lead to 3-2. Holleyfield tied the game at three on a sacrifice fly by Smith.
New Life took a 4-3 lead in the top of the third on a wild pitch.
In the bottom of the fourth, FDA's Philpot led off with a single and then stole second base. A single by Holleyfield brought Philpot around to score and tie the game back up at four. Sorrells gave the Eagles their first lead of the game on a base hit that scores Holleyfield. Another run scored in the inning when Nicholas reached base on an error, scoring Smith who also reached on an error a few batters earlier.
But, the game was far from over as New Life came right back to tie the game up at six in the top of the fifth.
However, in the bottom of the sixth, FDA scored two more to slam the door on New Life. Leadoff batter, Nicholas, started the inning with a base hit that got away from the defense allowing him to make it to second base. Holt followed with a base hit, scoring Nicholas for a 7-6 lead. Holt, who moved to third on a bunt by Robertson, came around to score the final run of the game on a double by Holleyfield.
Mal Winters pitched the complete game and earned the win. Leading batters were Nicholas, who went two for four, Philpot, two for two, Holleyfield, two for three and Sorrells, two for two.
The Eagles are now 9-1 on the season and Brantley said his team is starting to come together.
"They are starting to get used to the way I want them to play baseball, which is getting base runners on and putting pressure on opposing defenses," he said.
FDA took on Crenshaw Christian Academy on Tuesday afternoon and they travel to Evergreen to play Sparta Academy on Friday at 3:30 p.m. On Saturday the Eagles play a doubleheader with Lakeside Academy at Beeland Park starting at 1 p.m.