Eagles rally to win opener

Published 10:15 am Thursday, February 21, 2013

LOWNDESBORO – For six innings, things looked bleak for Fort Dale Academy in its season opener with Lowndes Academy.

But then came the seventh inning.

Trailing 6-2, the Eagles (1-0) plated 10 runs to rally for a 12-8 win.

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“It wasn’t pretty, but it’s better to win ugly than to lose,” Fort Dale head coach Josh Beverly said. “We didn’t have any offense for the first five or six innings, and then we finally started to figure things out in the seventh.”

Fort Dale’s rally was highlighted by a two-run home run off the bat of Ryan Burkett, who finished the game 2-for-5 with four RBIs.

“We got an infield single and a two-run home run and things blew up from there,” Beverly said. “I think we had seven hits in a row after that, and up until then we really hadn’t done anything. We weren’t striking out, but we were way out in front of everything and just couldn’t get much done. Baseball’s a funny game like that. Everything started to come together for us there in the seventh.”

Along with Burkett, three other Eagles recorded multiple hits.

Chase Whiddon was 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and an RBI, while Andy Burns was 2-for-3 with an RBI and Austin Vickery was 2-for-4.

Beverly is hoping the Eagles’ comeback will be a building block as the season progresses.

“It’s something we can build on,” he said. “If we’re in that situation again, the guys can look back and know that we’ve done it before, and we can do it again.”

Along with sparking the Eagles at the plate, Burkett also came on in relief of Cade Tillery to earn the win.

Right-hander Chip Taylor was credited with the save.

Fort Dale will be back in action Saturday when it plays host to Eastwood Christian School and Hooper Academy.

The Eagles will face Eastwood at 11 a.m. and Hooper at 1:30 p.m. at the FDA Sportsplex.