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TUESDAY, MARCH 27, 2007
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Austin struggles through loss at Bob Jones

By Josh Cooper
jcooper@decaturdaily.com 340-2460

MADISON — An old baseball belief says that pitching and timely hitting win games.

Austin had difficulty with both, losing at Bob Jones 5-2 in the first game of Class 6A, Area 16 play Monday.

The two teams will meet again Tuesday when the Black Bears (9-13) host the Patriots (4-14) in a doubleheader.

"We had runners in scoring position several times," said Austin coach Jake Miles, whose team out-hit Bob Jones 6-3. "Our problem was more offensively. We need to do a better job at the plate."

In the last two innings, the Black Bears left two runners on base. First in the top of the sixth, with the score 4-1 in favor of Bob Jones, Corey Jackson was stranded at second base, then in the top of the seventh with the score 5-2 and a runner on third, Austin failed to score a run.

"We talk about being able to seize momentum if you score," Miles said. "We have to capitalize on those situations in order to gain momentum."

Black Bears pitcher Bobby Foster struggled early as he walked the first three batters. All three eventually scored.

He found a rhythm and didn't give up a run as he worked 2 1/3 innings. He struck out two and allowed two hits. Gabe Porter relieved Foster in the third and went 3 1/3 innings, allowing two runs — both unearned — on three hits while striking out four.

Brian Houghton tossed a complete game for the Patriots, allowing the two runs on six hits while striking out six.

For Austin, Jake McCay and Ty Chancelor each went 2-for-3 with a double and a single, and Drew Sanders was 1-for-3 with a single.

The Black Bears got their runs on a Houghton wild pitch in the third, which scored McCay. Russ Sandlin's fielder's choice to the second baseman in the seventh also scored McCay.

"For our first area game, we wanted to come out on top," Miles said. "It will be good to go back home to some familiar surroundings. We have good crowd support. Hopefully, we can pick up a win."

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