Flames 2, Tigers 1
West Alabama pitcher Zach Parks held the Flames hitless for seven innings in the opener but Lee broke loose with a single run to tie the contest in the bottom of the eighth and then scratched across a run in the bottom of the 11th to claim the 2-1 thriller.
"We might have got a little help from West Alabama in the first game, but give their pitching credit, they did an outstanding job the entire afternoon," said coach Mark Brew.
The Flames finally got their first hit when Zac Hawkins singled to open the eighth inning. Josh Tate followed with the second hit of the inning and Siosi Poti was safe on a fielder’s choice that scored Hawkins with the tying run.
The battle lingered on until the bottom of the 11th. Jordan Stewart was hit by a pitch. Josh Silver followed with a single and Andres Nelo knocked in the winning run with a single that touched off the Lee celebration.
In the victory, Nelo had two hits. Hawkins had a pair of hits and Silver joined Tate with Lee’s only other hits off five West Alabama hurlers.
In a pitching duel deluxe, Jeremy Stawychny hurled eight strong innings. He gave up six hits, one earned run, struck out nine and walked two. Jeremy Bales came on for two innings and allowed just one hit, while Grayson Bailey pitched the 11th inning and did not allow a hit. He struck out one and got credit for his first victory of the year.
Brock Ward was charged with the defeat. He pitched 1 1/3 innings and gave up the winning run. Adam Chamblee had a double and two singles for the losers. Tanner Rainey also had a double in the loss.
Tigers 4, Flames 3
West Alabama scored single runs in the first and third innings and salted what looked like a victory away with two more runs in the seventh. The Flames did not score until the final inning of the seven-inning contest when they put three runs on the board and almost pulled victory away from defeat.
The Tigers had 10 hits against three Lee hurlers. Nikolay Uherek was the starter and loser. He allowed seven hits and two earned runs. Carlos Ditren worked a pair of innings and did not surrender a run. Ryan Zimmer entered the contest in the seventh and gave up two hits and two earned runs.
Again the Flames had trouble getting their bats going and did not collect a hit until the fifth inning off West Alabama starter Fernando Gonzalez. He hurled 6 2/3 innings of three-hit ball and struck out seven Flames. Neal Lambert came on to get the save after the Flames rallied for three runs in the seventh.
Poti, Seth Gower and Tate had Lee's only hits. Poti collected an RBI and Hawkins, Poti and Gower scored Lee’s three runs. For West Alabama, Mitch Holgate had three hits. Rainer posted three RBI with two hits and Jake Cockrum doubled.
“We just have to continue to find ways to hit consistently,” declared Brew. “We also cannot afford to get behind in the early innings and we have to be more selective in our swings against good pitching in this league. We are going to see this type of pitchers in every Gulf South game.”
West Alabama improves to 14-6 and 6-5 in the GSC. The Flames fall to 13-7 and 6-5 in league play.
The two teams will close out the three game series on Sunday with the opening pitch scheduled for 2 p.m. at Olympic Field.