Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local Sports

April 7, 2012

Marion County claims region victory over Pacelli with suicide squeeze

AMERICUS — The Marion County Eagles welcomed the Pacelli Vikings to Buena Vista on Thursday with hopes of gaining a Region 4-A victory over the tough region opponent. In a year where the Eagles have dropped several one-run games, it would be another one-run final score to decide the victor of this contest. The Eagles would come out on top in this close game, however, as a risky suicide squeeze bunt in the bottom of the last inning would end the game in walk-off fashion.

Pacelli broke into the score column first with two runs on three hits in the top of the third inning. The Eagles would fight back in the bottom of the fourth inning with two runs of their own to tie the game at 2-2.

After Dylan McClellan lead off the inning with a single, Austin Morgan was brought in to pinch run for McClellan and he quickly stole second base for the Eagles. Starting pitcher Dylan Price then came to the plate and delivered an RBI triple down the right field line to score Morgan. A Dillon Lane fielder’s choice would bring Price home, tying the game at 2-2.

Neither team would score again until the top of the sixth inning when Pacelli would get a run on a sacrifice fly ball to take a 3-2 lead.

With Pacelli needing just six outs to claim the victory, the Eagles once again answered the Vikings score in the home half of the sixth inning. With two outs, courtesy runner Austin Mitchell scored the game-tying run on a dropped pop fly to once again tie the game, this time at 3-3.

The Eagles held the Vikings scoreless in the top of the seventh inning, putting them in prime position to steal the victory in the home-half of the final inning.

Taylor Barrett led off the inning for the Eagles and singled to give his team a runner on base with no outs. Barrett helped his team even more by swiping second base to give the Eagles a runner in scoring position.

Dustin Eckert then came to the plate and bunted Barrett to third base, giving the Eagles a runner at third base with only one out. With the game on the line, Brandon Dumas stepped to the plate and took the sign from Marion head coach Luke Jernigan. Jernigan reached into his bag of tricks and called for an extremely risky squeeze bunt. As the pitch was delivered, Barrett broke for the plate and Dumas squared to bunt. In the high pressure moment, Dumas put the ball on the ground and Barrett crossed the plate to give the Eagles a 4-3 Region 4-A victory.

“I am so proud of the these young guys for playing so hard with pitching and defense all year. We finally got a break today and our boys seized the opportunity and won the game,” said coach Jernigan. “We are playing so many young sophomores, freshmen, and juniors and these guys are starting to come together as a team and gain confidence in each other.”

The Eagles next home game will take place at 5:00 against region foe Chattahoochee County on Friday, April 13 in Buena Vista.

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