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Dawgs capture ‘Bama’ opener

Venturing into the so-called Heart of Dixie, Bearden Baseball’s opening game in Gulf Coast Classic (Gulf Shores, Ala. metropolitan area March 14-17) was a high-scoring Dawgs victory.

Led by two hits each from Derek Lance, Trey York and Ronnie Broyles — plus really good defense — the Bulldogs opened its 2011 season with a 9-7 win against Loveless Academic Magnet Program (Montgomery, Ala.) in Foley, Ala., Monday.

With Loveless having the bases loaded and just one out in the bottom of the seventh — trailing by two — Dawgs reliever Zach Sale got out of his mess by inducing a pitcher-to-catcher-to first baseman double play ending the game.

Sale, who earned a save, fired a grounder back to catcher Drew Pasillas, who rifled the twin-killing, game-ending throw to first baseman Ty Hill.

“I was pleased with our defense, especially,” Bearden head coach Jack Tate said. “Dakota Stallings played great at shortstop. Ronnie Broyles played great, made two diving catches in right field.

“We only made one error.”

Overall, “A pretty good opening win,” Tate said. “Loveless, the past three years, they’ve been in the state finals in [Class] 3A in Alabama once, and the semifinals another year.”

Broyles’ two hits and two RBI included a sacrifice fly, while Lance added a triple and double.

York, second baseman, was 2-of-3 at the plate as Bearden finished with 11 hits overall and built a late 9-5 lead.

“It was a pretty balanced offensive game,” Tate said.

Winning pitcher Craig Norwood went four-and-two-thirds innings, while Bulldogs reliever Kyle Wentz “came in in the fifth inning and got us out of a big jam,” Tate said. “He got a strikeout with the bases loaded.”

Wentz pitched a scoreless sixth inning before Loveless scored twice in the seventh to make it close.

“Pitching-wise, we did give up eight walks and 12 hits, so I want that to get better, obviously,” Tate said.

Tourney finals are Thursday.


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