The Houston Co Bears came into their second & final day of competition in Hoover at 8-0 overall & 2-0 in the tournament & prepped to play the Central-Phenix City Red Devils in their Semifinal match-up in the blue bracket. The Red Devils came out firing on offense by picking up two runs in the top half of the first to lead 2-0.
The pitching by both teams took over for some time as neither team could plate a run until the top half of the third when Central added a third run to lead 3-0 which would be the score heading into the bottom half of the fourth. The Bears got on the board & were able to tie the game up at 3 after a nice three run HoCo fourth. The Bears took the lead by adding two more runs in the bottom half of the sixth to lead 5-3.
The Red Devils cut the lead in half in their seventh inning at bat to trail 5-4 but HoCo shut down Central & won 5-4 to advance to the Final in the blue bracket & improve to 9-0 overall in 2023. The Bears had 8 hits & one error while the Red Devils had 7 hits & committed one error.
HoCo took a breather to prepare for the Tournament Final in the blue bracket against one of the top ranked teams in America the #3 nationally ranked IMG Academy Ascenders from Bradenton, Florida. The Bears came into this game ranked #9 nationally themselves so on paper; this looked to be a tight game throughout but it was anything but close.
HoCo batted first & scored the game’s opening run in the top half of the first before IMG plated two to lead 2-1 after one. Both team’s pitching was superb over the next 2 1/2 innings as neither team could plate a run until the bottom half of the fourth inning.
That half of the fourth would be a disaster for HoCo as the Ascenders blew the game flat open by scoring 11 runs in the bottom of the fourth to push their lead to 13-1 heading into the top of the fifth where the Bears could not close the gap & the game ended with IMG Academy winning the Tournament in the blue bracket 13-1 after five innings.
The Ascenders had just 8 hits to go with their 13 runs & committed one error while HoCo had 4 hits & committed one error. HoCo falls to 9-1 overall on the season & will return home to prep for their region opener against county rival Northside on the road this Tuesday March 7th @ 6pm.
Elsewhere Perry traveled to play in the Tattnall Square Academy Tournament in Macon, GA & played two games on Friday & lost both of them…. first a 4-3 loss to Strong Rock Christian & in the night game; a 2-0 shutout loss to Tattnall Square Academy. The Panthers after starting 8-0 have lost their last three games to currently sit at 8-3 overall & will return to Bibb Co on Monday March 6th at 4:30pm to open region play @ Westside (Macon).
Veterans played back-to-back games on the road this past Thursday & Friday & picked up two shutout victories. On Thursday the Warhawks played their second & final regular season matchup against the Bleckley Co Royals down in Cochran & won 5-0 to get the sweep. The next day; Veterans traveled to Pulaski Co to take on the Hawkinsville Red Devils on Friday which resulted in a 17-0 Warhawks rout.
Veterans currently sits at 8-3 overall & will prepare for their region opener at home against the Thomas Co Central Yellow Jackets on Tuesday March 7th at 5:30pm.