One win and one loss to start FDA baseball season

Published 2:15 pm Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Fort Dale Eagles hit the diamond for the first games of the season in a double-header against Crenshaw Academy.

The Eagles split the matchup, winning the first game 4-2, then falling 6-2 in the second game. This brings the Eagle’s record to 1-1.

Coach Josh Beverley said so far, he’s pleased with the team’s progress.

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“We played really good for the first game of the year,” Beverley said. “We struck out at the plate a little too much, however.”

The Eagles racked up 8 hits, with returning starter Skylar McKeown having the strongest bat. McKeown picked up two doubles for the night, and was named as MaxPreps player of the week for the week of 2/20 to 2/28.

“McKeown and Hunter Armstrong are definitely two of our aces,” Beverley said.

McKeown pitched the first round, only giving up 2 hits and striking out 10 Crenshaw batters.

The second game did not go as well for the Eagles. Beverley said he expects this season to be marked by highs and lows.

“We are as young as we have ever been,” Beverley said. “We will look really good one game, then have a bunch of stupid mistakes the next.”

Beverley said the second match-up was plagued by “stupid mistakes”. The Eagles failed to produce much offensively, only producing two hits for the entire game.

Armstrong pitched most of the game, but had to be pulled out in the fifth. Armstrong conceded 3 hits, and struck out 9 batters. He was replaced by rookie pitcher Cade Tillery, a tenth-grader. Tillery gave up 4 earned runs, allowing 3 hits and striking out 2.

The Eagles lost three starters last year: Dustin Till, Todd Burkett and Matthew Burkett.

The squad is still awaiting the return of Brandon Matthews, who injured his ACL during football season last year. Beverley said it will be his call on when Matthews can resume play once doctors release him.

“We really need him back in the middle of the lineup,” Beverley said.

While the roster this year may be markedly young, Beverley says he isn’t looking at the season as a rebuilding year.

“We are going to be young, but fun to watch,” Beverley said. “And I know we are going to make mistakes. But we have two pitchers that I believe will keep us in every ballgame we play in, and as long as we make plays behind them we will do well.”

The Eagles will travel to Lowndes Academy Thursday, then back home on Friday to compete in a four team, double-elimination Tournament.

The tournament will be held in Greenville, and will get underway starting at 3 p.m. Friday, with Fort Dale facing off against Sparta. Crenshaw and Lowndes will play starting at 5:30 p.m.