Brantley faces stiff competition in Wiregrass Classic tournament

Published 5:23 pm Thursday, March 25, 2010

After participating in a spring break tournament in Niceville, Fla., the Brantley Bulldogs returned to the state in time to pick up a key area win over Ariton on Saturday.

In the final game of the Niceville tournament, Brantley fell to Madison County 13-12.

The Bulldogs trailed 12-11 heading into the top of the seventh inning, when Chase Hall got a hit to score Taylor Tew and tie the game at 12.

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However, in the bottom half of the inning, Brantley walked the first batter, who ended up being the winning run after a couple of Madison County hits.

“That late in the tournament, both teams were kind of down on pitching,” said head coach Ashley Kilcrease. “We had 17 hits, but we just couldn’t get them out when we needed to.”

The Bulldogs faced off against the Ariton Purple Cats on Saturday in the rubber match of their series so far this season.

With the teams splitting the first two games, the winner of that matchup earned a leg up in the race for the top spot in the postseason, and Brantley came away with a 13-6 victory.

“We took the lead in area play with that win,” Kilcrease said.

This week, the Bulldogs have been playing in the Wiregrass Classic in Skipperville, and so far they are 1-1.

In the first game, they defeated Carroll of Ozark, but lost to G.W. Long in Tuesday’s second game.

“G.W. Long has a left-handed pitcher that has been clocked at 91 miles per hour, and it seems like we’ve been seeing everybody’s best,” Kilcrease said. “We also had 11 errors and walked nine batters. You can’t do that and beat anybody.”

Up next for Brantley is a rematch against Enterprise on Thursday in the tournament.

If the Bulldogs win, they will play again later in the week, but a loss means their tournament is over.

“Enterprise is not playing as well right now as they were earlier in the season, so I think we’ve got a chance if we throw strikes and play defense,” Kilcrease said. “We’ve got to get better before the playoffs get here. We’re averaging seven runs a game, but we’re giving up eight. That ought to be enough offense to win games, but it’s not.”

The game against Enterprise is set for 4 p.m. on Thursday in Skipperville.