By JOSH FRYE
News Sports Writer
Despite a strong pitching performance from Parker Robinson in the first game, Escambia Academy’s Cougars were swept by Pickens Academy in the AISA regional baseball playoffs.
Robinson struck out 11, allowed just 5 hits and walked three batters during the opener of the April 19 postseason doubleheader.
Despite holding off the Pirates until the ninth inning, EA was not able to generate a win in either game and had its season end after losses of 3-2 and 12-6.
Pickens Academy started the scoring early in Game 1, putting a run on the board off a bases-loaded walk.
The Cougars evened things up at two in the bottom of the sixth, when Cameron Cloud scored on a groundout.
EA held the score at a deadlock until the Pirates’ Austin Goodman doubled on the first pitch of the at-bat in the bottom of the ninth inning to drive in the winning run.
Bryant Quimby singled for an RBI; Randal Bonds walked once; Cloud drove in a run, and Robinson singled and was driven in.
The Cougars had the win ripped away from them and retired from the field with thoughts on Game 2.
The Cougar pitching staff however, had its hands full as the contest kicked off.
Jackson Bonner started on the mound for EA. He struck out two but was roughed up for 10 hits in just over two-thirds of an inning.
Kameron Bowen and Robinson both entered the game from the bullpen, throwing four innings and one and one-third innings, respectively.
Pickens Academy picked the Cougars pitchers apart, scoring 11 runs in the first inning.
EA tallied 10 hits on the night.
Chase Bell walked once, scored on a single and drove in a run; Tye Williams had an RBI single, and Bowen doubled and scored twice. Also, Cloud scored once and drove in a run; Sam Fields doubled for a run; Robinson singled in a run, and Christian Cook walked once, scored on a single and drove in a runner.
Despite the solid batting performance, the Cougars were not able to fend off the first-inning Pirates rally.
The doubleheader also marked Senior Night, and three EA seniors — Bowen, Martin and Bonner, each a multi-sport participant — were honored as they donned an EA baseball uniform for the last time.
“We appreciate these guys’ dedication to our school and our programs,” EA headmaster Hugh Fountain said. “It takes a ton work to be able to play multiple sports and focus on studies. These guys have been leaders and role models for our school, and we couldn’t be prouder of them for their accomplishments.”