Beulah scores 13 2-out runs in second inning, defeat Lanett 24-8

Published 10:33 pm Tuesday, February 26, 2019

BEULAH — Lanett went into the bottom of the second inning with a 2-1 lead over 3A No. 9 Beulah. The Panthers finished the inning by trailing 15-2, eventually losing the game 24-8.

“I think we got their attention,” Lanett head baseball coach Hunter Ames said about his team’s fast start. “Beulah’s a very good baseball team. I’m not saying that they overlooked us or anything, but we came to play.”

Beulah tied the game at 2-2 when the Bobcats had the bases loaded and Lanett decided to get the nearest force out at second base. It was the second out of the inning.

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A wild pitch and missed throw at the plate brought in another run. Then, Beulah junior Andruw Coxwell’s double touched down in center field to increase the lead to 5-2. Beulah finished the inning by scoring 13 2-out runs, which included a two-run RBI from sophomore Austin Billingsley, who finished with a game-leading three hits in the matchup.

After the forgettable bottom half of the second inning, the Panthers didn’t go down without a fight.

At the top of the fourth inning, a Beulah infielder dropped a pop up from Lanett senior Kolby Davidson to score the fourth run for the Panthers after scoring the team scored its third run in the third inning. Kolby’s twin brother, Kaleb, then hit a two-run double to cut the Beulah deficit to 16-6. At the next at-bat, Kristian Story took advantage of the split second that Beulah’s second baseman shifted towards right field to knock the ball rolling directly into center field, which brought Kaleb Davidson home. A couple of at-bats later, Kahlil Cunningham picked up an RBI on an out that scored Story, rounding out a five-run inning from Lanett.

“We have to clean up the errors and just play a cleaner game,” Beulah head baseball coach David Russell said. “We’ve struggled with that against everybody, whether the starters have been in, or some of the other guys who haven’t played as much, we’ve struggled with playing a clean game. You want to see it be a little cleaner, but overall, anytime you win, it’s a win.”

Despite Lanett’s efforts at the plate, defensively the Panthers allowed many Beulah base runners to put themselves in scoring position by frequently stealing bases. Like the Bobcat fielders, Lanett made a handful of errors as well.

“We made our errors in the game, but they hit the ball well,” Ames said.

Beulah went through a majority of its batting lineup three times in the second inning. After getting a late start to officially hit the cages this winter, the Bobcats’ hitting has improved since opening day.

“With the rules, we don’t start actually hitting until about three weeks before the season,” Russell said. “Now you’re starting to get the bats going and a lot of that has to do with being more comfortable at the plate, seeing more pitches, and hopefully we get things going. We have two more tough games for the rest of this week, so we really want them [the bats] going for those games.”

In his last at-bat, Lanett senior Kane Brumbaugh made good contact with the ball, only to sail into the glove of diving Beulah senior left fielder Rashawn Huntly.

“It’s hard to compete with something like that,” Ames said. “We’re going to regroup, we’ve got another game tomorrow. We’ve got Notasulga, and we’re going to play them the same way that we played tonight. Hopefully, we’ll come out with a different number.”

Story was in the lineup for the first time this season on Tuesday night as the Panthers’ designated hitter. Ames previously said that Story would miss the season to get surgery ahead of football season this fall. His involvement with the team moving forward is still unknown as of Tuesday night, according to Ames.

Beulah freshman Jeremy Conway led the Bobcats with four RBIs. Kolby Davidson threw a game-leading 12 first-pitch strikes, while Beulah sophomore Christian McCool gave the Bobcats three innings on the mound.

Beulah junior ace Colby Richey will be on the hill on Wednesday at Horseshoe Bend, while Kaleb Davidson is scheduled to make his pitching debut this season at Notasulga on Wednesday.