Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.|
East Limestone second baseman Aaron Golden forces out Lawrence County’s Coty Way during the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs in Moulton on Tuesday. The Red Devils won 9-3.
Red Devils power way to 2nd round
Holley hits, pitches Lawrence
County past East Limestone
By Brooke Milam
firstname.lastname@example.org · 340-2462
MOULTON — What started off as a frustrating night for Lawrence County's baseball team, playing East Limestone in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs, turned into proof of something that Red Devils coach Anthony Inman has claimed about his team all year.
"I feel like we're as good a hitting team as anyone in the state," Inman said.
Lawrence County showcased its skills at the plate in a 9-3 come-from-behind win and advanced to the second round to play a best-of-three series Friday at Boaz, a 7-5 winner over North Jackson.
East Limestone ended its season at 14-14.
It's the first time the Red Devils have advanced to the second round in three times under Inman, who in his fourth season at Lawrence County (21-11), while East Limestone made the playoffs this season for the second straight
"We hit the ball all night, but we put together two big innings back-to-back and basically scored all our runs," Inman said.
East Limestone led 3-0 early, after a three-run homer by Matthew Bailey. And while Lawrence County was hitting, it wasn't scoring runs.
But after the Indians left the bases loaded in the top of the third inning, the Red Devils found their mark, and the momentum shift was permanent for the home team.
Britt White walked to lead off the third for Lawrence County. Matthew Pugh followed with a hard single through the center of the infield, setting up a three-run homer by Wes Holley to tie the score at 3.
"I can't say (hitting a home run) didn't run through my mind, but I was just trying to get on base and score," said Holley, who was also the winning pitcher.
"Scoring those runs got our confidence up a lot. After tonight, we just have to keep this up."
Coty Way scored the go-ahead run later in the inning on an RBI double by Radney Wallace.
A single by Thomas Glenn scored Wallace and the Red Devils led 5-3 at the end of the third.
"I was proud of them, getting down, but not quitting," Inman said.
"They didn't lose their composure, and they fought back."
With two outs in the fourth, Way drove in two runs, scoring Chase Puckett, who was pinch running for White, and Will Inman.
A double by Wallace scored Way, continuing the scoring spree for the Red Devils, who tacked on their final run in the sixth on a throwing error.
Holley pitched out of a bind in the fifth, with a strikeout to end the inning with Indians on second and third.
Holley finished with 16 strikeouts, pitching the complete game for the win, including two consecutive strikeouts to end the game.
"I knew three runs wasn't going to win the game," East Limestone coach Brian Wagnon said.
"We had a couple of opportunities to score some runs,
but we didn't get the hits. They did. They deserve to move
Freshman Cade Medley got the start on the mound for the Indians, striking out three before being relieved by Nathan Dumont in the fourth.
East Limestone's Bailey drove in all three runs for the Indians and also added a single. Teammate Corey Dunn had three singles.
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