The Alice Lloyd Eagles traveled to Kingsport, Tennessee to participate in the 2012 KIAC Tournament. In a double elimination format, the Eagles dropped two heartbreaking decisions, first to the Berea Mountaineers and then to the Brescia Bearcats to close out the season. Following are recaps of each contest.
April 25, 2012
The Eagles batted well against Berea’s Lance Sheets, one of the league’s top pitchers, knocking him out of the game. ALC took a 5-1 lead after batting in the top of the 6th inning and had all of the momentum on their side. They were just looking to close the deal.
Unfortunately, the weather was not on their side as a huge downpour forced a nearly two hour delay. When play finally resumed in the bottom of the inning, the Eagles committed 3 costly errors. This allowed the Mountaineers to knot the score at 5-5. In the bottom of the eighth, they scored once to go ahead 6-5. ALC rallied to tie the game in the top of the ninth inning, only to see Berea score the winning run in their last at bat.
Both clubs recorded 8 hits each, but the key stat was 5 Alice Lloyd errors. Jeff Cyrus led the Eagles as he cracked 3 hits, while big Will Leonard crushed a fastball over the fence for a 3-run homer in the top of the fourth inning.
Pitcher Neil Dillon took the difficult loss on the mound, despite only allowing 6 hits and giving up just 1 earned run. He also whiffed seven Mountaineer batters.
April 26, 2012
The Eagles played well, but once again, the weather wreaked havoc on the contest. The game was tied at 1-1 before Brescia increased their lead to 4-1 after five innings. The Eagles got 1 of those runs back in the bottom of the seventh to slice the deficit to two (4-2). In the bottom of the eighth inning, ALC had runners on second and third with just one out and had the heart of their lineup coming to the plate. Momentum was definitely on the Eagles’ side. Suddenly, the heavens opened up, releasing a torrential rainfall. After waiting for over two hours, officials were forced to call the contest off for the night.
When play resumed the next morning, ALC saw a runner picked off base for out number two. Shane Pack then crushed a pitch to the warning track, only to see it snagged by a Bearcat outfielder. The Eagle threat was suddenly over. Brescia then tacked on an insurance run in the top of the ninth, and they held on for the win.
BU outhit Alice Lloyd 10-8, and each squad recorded 1 error. Trae Minton and Bobby Caldwell each smacked 2 hits, while Brandon Arnold, Will Leonard, Trey King, and Shane Pack each registered 1 hit apiece. Arnold and Leonard’s hits were doubles, while Minton and King each had 1 RBI.
Pitcher Nathan Bingham took the difficult loss on the mound, despite only allowing 5 hits and giving up 4 earned runs over four innings. He also struck out 5 batters. Cory Brewer and Wayne Sparks spread out 5 hits over the last 5 innings in relief.