by Anthony Sizemore, Student Sports Reporter
The Alice Lloyd Eagles traveled to Kingsport, Tennessee to participate in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletics Conference Tournament, which took place from April 23rd-26th. Here is a recap of the four games that Alice Lloyd played en route to end the season.
Logan Condra was named the starter for the opening game of the tournament for Alice Lloyd. In the first inning, IU Southeast would score four runs to jump out in front. The Grenadiers pushed across three more runs in the second to make it 7-0. IU Southeast would continue to pour it on from there as they left the Eagles with virtually no chance to rally.
ALC scored its lone run of the game in the first inning as Alex Dapkus would score on a passed ball.
Condra only struck one batter out, surrendering six hits and four runs. Timmy Sublett and Chance Westerfield pitched eight and two-thirds innings out of the bullpen, allowing sixteen hits and eleven runs (nine earned).
Neil Dillon went to the mound for ALC’s second tourney game on Thursday, April 24th, versus Berea. Facing elimination, Alice Lloyd could not have started this contest any better than it did by putting up five runs in the first. Austin White drove home Alex Dapkus on an RBI single. Bobby Caldwell followed White’s act with an RBI single of his own to bring in Zach Hancock. Dustin Williams continued the hit parade as he produced a two-run single, allowing White and Caldwell to touch home plate.
Shane Pack would later score on an error committed by Berea. Berea responded with three runs of their own in the first to make it 5-3 in favor of ALC.
Things settled down in the second inning for Alice Lloyd as the Eagles could not get any runs across, but Berea continued to chip away at ALC’s lead, stringing together two hits to generate a run (5-4 ALC).
The Eagles were able to get one run home in the third inning. Ronnie Saylor grounded into a double play, but was able to get White home to make it 6-4. In the fifth inning, Berea plated a run to make it 6-5 Alice Lloyd.
Alice Lloyd went scoreless in the sixth, but the bats woke up in the seventh. The Eagles were able to get three runs on four hits. Hancock would score his second run of the game via an RBI single from Caldwell. Dustin Williams continued his big day with two more runs batted in, driving home Pack and Trae Minton, who pinched-ran for Caldwell, on a double. The Eagles retired Berea in order in the bottom of the seventh.
No runs in the eighth for ALC, but Berea scored once in the eighth to make it 9-6. The Eagles wouldn’t score in the ninth, either, but they didn’t need to. Berea recorded two hits in the ninth, but Alice Lloyd would put the rally to a halt after that.
Dillon pitched a complete game, allowing six runs (four earned on fourteen hits while walking three and striking out two).
In Alice Lloyd’s third game on Friday, April 25th, Wayne Sparks was the starting pitcher. The bats were silent through the first two innings for both teams, but Asbury drew first blood in the top of the third, manufacturing a run.
The Eagles responded in the bottom of the fourth with a run of their own to even the score.
Tanner Hensley knocked a base hit to left field, bringing home Dustin Williams. Alice Lloyd would take the lead in the fifth, generating another run. Bobby Caldwell would single to right, allowing Zach Hancock to come across the plate.
Asbury fought back in the sixth to take the lead with two runs of their own, making it 3-2. One more run in the seventh for Asbury extended their advantage (4-2). AU would bring home three more runs in the eighth to make it 7-2, which seemed to seal Alice Lloyd’s fate. The Eagles managed to tack on one in the eighth to make it 7-3, but it looked as though the Eagles were out of the tournament.
With the game all but over, a tiny window opened in the ninth as Asbury failed to score. Alice Lloyd needed five runs in the ninth to pull off an improbable victory, and somehow, the Eagles did just that.
Alex Dapkus got the comeback train started with a single. Then, Jake Bales reached base on an error by Asbury. Shane Pack would deliver the first RBI of the inning, scoring Dapkus. Two batters later, Caldwell reached base on an error. Afterwards, Ronnie Saylor batted with two outs and singled up the middle, driving in Bales and Pack to make it — unbelievably — a one-run game.
Not to be denied, Alice Lloyd’s Derek Walzer knocked in the game-ending run, bringing Dillon and Caldwell in to score on a two-run double.
Sparks pitched seven innings, allowing seven runs – five of them earned – on nine hits while K’ing eight hitters. The bullpen (Logan Condra, Ryan Burrow and Justin Smith) pitched the final two innings, allowing zero runs and zero hits.
Justin Smith started for Alice Lloyd on Saturday, April 26th, with a trip to the finals on the line.
Both teams went scoreless through one, but that would change in the second. IU Southeast delivered two runs on four hits. The Eagles cut the margin in half in their half of the second, generating one run on an RBI double by Kevin Smith, scoring Dustin Williams.
IU Southeast turned up the heat in the third, bringing home three runs to make it 5-1. Alice Lloyd continued their methodical approach, churning out one run on one hit. Austin White scored on a wild pitch by IU Southeast’s pitcher, Shane Weedman, to make it 5-2.
In the fifth inning, Alice Lloyd’s bats exploded for six runs. White would score the first run of the inning on an error. Bobby Caldwell singled, scoring Shane Pack and Alex Dapkus. After a pitching change for IU Southeast, Kevin Smith drove in Williams on an RBI single. Ryne Loggins produced a two-run single to left field, scoring Caldwell and Smith.
IU Southeast would score one run each in the sixth and seventh innings to make it 8-7 in favor of Alice Lloyd. Neither team would score in the eighth.
Unfortunately, the Eagles could not put the game away in the ninth as IU Southeast delivered two runs to make it 9-8 in favor of the Grenadiers. Evan Bickett, IU Southeast’s closer, would retire ALC’s side in order to end the game and ALC’s season.
Smith pitched two and one-third innings, surrendering five hits and seven runs but only two of those runs were earned. Smith also struck out four batters and walked two. Logan Condra and Timmy Sublett would pitch the other six and two-thirds innings, giving up ten hits and five runs (two earned) while striking out three.