Bulldogs shut out rival Panthers; Area 7 race tightensPublished 10:38am Monday, March 25, 2013
Elmore County needed a win Thursday night to keep pace with Area 7 rival Tallassee. The homestanding Holtville Bulldogs needed a win to stay in the discussion.
After seven innings of baseball Thursday, the Bulldogs gained the advantage with a 2-0 victory going into Saturday’s doubleheader in Eclectic.
“I thought we played great defense and pitched well,” said Wendell Jackson, coach of the Panthers. “Our offense was shut down by (Hunter) Davis. He took the bat out of our hands the whole game.”
Davis, the Bulldogs hard-throwing sophomore, used a mixed of power and finesse to hold the Panthers to four hits while striking out seven.
Saturday’s wraparound games (two and three) are scheduled for the afternoon beginning at 2 and 4 p.m.
But, with rain likely, the twinbill could be delayed.
The Bulldogs’ first-game win put Holtville at 5-2 in the area behind Childersburg (3-0 yet to play any Elmore County school). The Tigers were supposed to play a weekend series with Tallassee (3-3, including a sweep of Holtville) but had it washed out and rescheduled. The Panthers (2-2) will face both Childersburg and Dallas County (0-3) in April.
Holtville’s offense didn’t exactly light-up Smart Collier Field.
With Tyler Black throwing for the Panthers, the Bulldogs were limited to four hits (three strikeouts) and were led by Dalton Speigner’s 2-for-3 performance. Speigner doubled in the first and again in the bottom of the third.
With two outs in the bottom of the third Speigner collided with a Panthers infielder and then scored on a Hayden Lott drive to the outfield.
Lott (1-for-3) scored on a passed ball to put the Bulldogs up 2-0.
The Panthers threatened in the top of the sixth. With one out, Black drew a walk and then stole second. He took third on a Joseph Kelly double. Davis ended the threat by inducing a first-pitch 5-3 putout for the second out and a first-pitch fly out to short.
He struck out the first two Panthers batters in the seventh. Austin Adams broke the slump by reaching safely on a bloop single that landed between Lott and Davis.
The sophomore, however, secured the victory with a third strikeout.
Holtville and Elmore County both will play in the Wetumpka Spring Break Tournament next week.