Eagles open with win

Published 6:59 pm Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Fort Dale Eagles got the 2009 baseball season started the right way with a solid 6-4 win over the Monroe Academy Volunteers.

The first part of the game was a back-and-forth battle between the two teams.

The Vols put a run on the board in the first inning, but Fort Dale responded in the second.

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Paul Whigham and Dustin Till came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Kendall Gibson and an RBI single by Steven Lee.

The game was the first in a while for Till, who sat out most of last season with a bout of mononucleosis.

“For his first game back, Dustin had two big hits for us,” said head coach Josh Beverly.

The see-saw continued in the third inning, when Monroe answered with two runs of their own, and one more run in the top of the fourth.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Eagles took over and didn’t look back.

Aaron Callen came through with a two-RBI single that scored Brantley McKeown and Todd Burkett.

“That big hit by Aaron tied it back up and really got us going,” Beverly said.

Fort Dale broke the tie in the sixth inning when Daniel Nolan scored on a passed ball with two outs, and Till followed that with an RBI triple that scored Whigham.

Despite the win, Beverly said there are several areas the Eagles need to work on.

“We’ve got to cut down on our errors,” he said. “It’s the first game, but that’s no excuse. If we cut down on those, this game isn’t as close as it was.”

Even though the Eagles came through in the clutch, hitting is also a concern.

“We left too many people on base, and we’ve got to be able to get that big hit,” Beverly said.

Besides the strong performances by Callen and Till, the Eagles also got a boost from Burkett on the mound.

“Todd threw well for us,” he said.

The Eagles continued the first part of their season with a doubleheader against Crenshaw Christian on Tuesday, but results were not available at press time.