It’s not often that a soccer player scores 100 goals in their career. A Trinity senior can now claim she has reached the lofty plateau. Striker Nicole Brown (above) of Trinity Presbyterian School scored her 100th goal in an 8-1 defeat of Benjamin Russell High School on March 6th. Brown reached the century mark in style by booting four goals in the game. -Staff
By TIM GAYLE
For the better part of four innings, LAMP and St. James were locked in a defensive struggle, with each team trying to get the upper hand in Friday’s area showdown at Paterson Field.
Finally, a two-out error opened the door for six unearned runs as St. James grabbed a 7-5 win over the Golden Tigers to sweep the two-game series between the two teams.
“I know he’ll say it wasn’t pretty on his end or ours,” St. James coach Keith Lucky said. “It just happened to go our way. It was just one of those games where we were on the good end of the stick, for a change.”
The Trojans opened the series on Thursday at St. James as ace pitcher T.R. Robertson struck out nine and allowed just two hits in an 11-0 win in a game shortened to five innings by the 10-run mercy rule. Robertson also had a two-run home run and an RBI triple.
“We were matching zeroes inning for inning and had five errors in an inning,” LAMP coach Chad Smith said. “Make the plays and we’re still matching zeroes for zeroes. Now, definitely they have a good No. 1 (pitcher). But we haven’t been able to overcome that one error.”
And it was that one error that did in the Tigers on Friday. Clinging to a 2-1 lead with two outs in the fifth, a hurried throw from shortstop Cole Hines pulled first baseman Russell Turner off of the bag. Carson Howard scored the game-tying run on the play and the Trojans would add five more runs, taking advantage of the LAMP miscue.
It had been Trojan miscues that gave LAMP a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth as Turner, who reached base in six of his seven plate appearances on Friday, reached on an error and Anthony Fitzpatrick reached base on catcher’s interference, with both runners scoring on a two-out double by Logan Hines.
In a strange twist, Smith elected to replace Todd Davis on the mound, but reliever Lance Phung allowed three of the first four Trojan batters to reach base, cutting the lead in half. Austin Clark then relieved Phung but struggled to find any control and was relieved two batters later by Logan Hines, who threw 10 consecutive balls. Hines was then replaced by Davis, who surrendered what would prove to be the game-winning runs on a two-run single to Shaw Woodson before retiring seven of the final nine batters in order.
“It was the move to make,” Smith said. “We played Wetumpka on Tuesday (in a close loss) and that’s what we did. Somebody throws two (innings) and then one, one, one. Everyone’s loose, they come in and get us out of the inning, nobody scores runs. It worked. Not having a one-two-three pitcher set in stone, that’s what we were going to do today. Todd got us twice through the lineup. Great job, now we get somebody else in there to give them a new look.
“I’m sitting over here, going through every single pitcher and finally put him back in after seven runs. And then we give up no more runs. Looks like the silliest move ever.”
LAMP scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth to pull back into the contest, but the Golden Tigers were 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position in the contest.
“He’s frustrated with how they played and I’m frustrated with how we played in the first ballgame (on Friday),” Lucky said. “I kind of got on to them and begged them to have better approaches at the plate and let’s get something done. In the second game, they responded.”
The second game on Friday, a tiebreaker in case the two teams finish the area race with the same record, quickly went in the Trojans’ favor as a pair of second-inning errors opened the door for an eight-run explosion in a 14-1 win shortened to five innings. Matthew Robinson went 3 for 3 with five RBI, including a three-run home run in the second inning that finished the day for starter Trace Deloney.
“He has come into his own the last three or four ballgames,” Lucky said. “He started seeing the ball really well. He’s been working really hard at it and got a little frustrated early in the season but I see him turning it on now.”
Robinson had four hits on Friday, along with Woodson and Robertson, as the Trojans had 11 hits in the first game and 14 in the second.
The game had a scary moment on the play before Robinson’s homer when Davis, now playing third, had a hard-hit grounder by Robertson hit him in the forehead. He suffered a concussion as a result of the play, Smith said.
LAMP (3-8) dropped to 0-2 in area play and will remain idle through spring break. St. James (9-3) is tied with Alabama Christian atop the area standings.
During a ceremony in New Orleans, Caddell Construction CEO Eddie Stewart was inducted as the 2018 president of Associated General Contractors of America (AGCA) – the first AGCA president to be from Alabama.