Trojans fall in regional to Escambia Academy

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 4, 2005

For the Meadowview Christian Trojans, half the battle was getting a regional bid into the AISA state playoffs.

The other half was advancing to the Final Four to be held down the road in Bloch Park and hosted by Meadowview. It was a simple plan.

Someone forgot to tell Escambia Academy about it.

The Cougars came to Selma and swept the Trojans 5-1 and then 5-4 to advance to the AISA’s Final Four tournament next week, hosted by Meadowview.

In game one, Ryan King’s homerun accounted for the only Trojan run given up by the Cougars. Defensively, however, the Trojans gave up a pair of runs in the top of the fourth and then three runs in the top of the seventh, falling behind 5-1.

The four-run deficit proved to be too much for the Area Champs, as they fell in the first game.

Things looked like they were turning around for the Trojans in the second game.

Escambia jumped out to an early 1-0 lead that Meadowview answered quickly in the bottom of the inning.

Catcher Tyler Wendell led off with a single to the infield that turned into an adventure. The throw was over the first baseman and rolled to the fence allowing Wendell to advance from first to third base. One batter later, Wendell raced home on a passed ball to tie the game at 1-1.

Chris Sewell singled with one out deep into the pocket of the infield, out of the reach of the short stop and then advanced to second on a passed ball. Dustin Lee reached on a fielders choice.

King connected on a slow-roller down the third baseline that the third basemen froze waiting on the ball, allowing a run to score and the Trojans to push ahead 2-1.

Meadowview tacked on a third run, pushing their lead to 3-1.

The Cougars answered with a run in the top of the second.

Drew Shamblin drew a leadoff walk and scored when Matt Amerson popped a line drive into the gap at shortstop and Chris Sewell couldn’t get a handle on it.

Leading 3-2, the Trojans added another run in the bottom of the second to push ahead 4-2.

Escambia’s bats, however, were just getting cranked up in the top of the fifth inning.

Oliver Petty singled, cutting the deficit in half, 4-3 and then was scored by John Brantley.

Brantley hit a grounder back up the middle but bounced underneath the pitcher’s glove and was fielded by a sprinting Sewell.

Sewell fired a strike to King at first to get the runner out, but Petty scored in the process to tie the game at 4-4.

The Trojans went down in order in the bottom half of the inning.

Amerson led off with a hit for the Cougars and then advanced to second. Josh Martel reached with a walk.

With runners on, pitcher Derek Lassiter’s day came to an end. Dustin Lee was called to the mound to take on the responsibilities of pitching.

In his first two pitches he had two passed balls. The first resulted in the runners advancing, the second resulted in Amerson scoring from third base to give the Cougars a 5-4 advantage.

The Trojans changed pitchers yet again and brought Austin Dennis to the rubber.

Austin forced Nick McGhee to ground out to short to end the inning.

Lee singled to open the bottom half of the final inning. He advanced to second on a passed ball and then had King join him on the basepaths courtesy of a walk. Mike Hess was brought in to run for the senior King and both runners advanced bases on the next pitch. Justin Gaylor hit into a fielder’s choice and then Landon MeHan struck out swinging to end the game.

Wednesday’s game proved to be the final game for the Trojans four seniors. Wendell, King, Sewell and Aaron Raines.