By JOSH FRYE
Caleb Davis, Parker Robinson, J.J. Stevens and Christian Crook aided in helping Escambia Academy’s Cougars sweep past four teams to clinch the Lowndes Invitational Baseball Tournament Championship last week (March 4-6).
During EA’s first matchup of the tournament (Thursday, March 4), the Cougars eked out a 3-1 win over Ezekiel Academy.
Stevens gained the mound win for the Cougars, striking out seven while allowing just two hits and a run in six innings. Davis led EA at-bat with three hits.
On Friday, Davis threw a 5-0 shutout against Autauga Academy. The EA hurler struck out five batters, walked one and gave up only one hit. Davis, Crook, Robinson, Landon Sims and Sam Fields all contributed runs for the Cougars.
The Cougars continued to roll on Saturday, defeating host Lowndes Academy, 9-3. Robinson gained the pitching win, striking out four and giving up only five hits and three runs. Randall Bonds and Stevens scored two runs each. Brady Howell, Tyler Ray, Fields, Davis and Crook each scored once. Bonds picked up two hits as the Cougars advanced to Saturday afternoon’s championship game.
With Jacob Lee and Robinson on the mound, EA was able to squeeze by Autauga Academy, 7-6.
Autauga scored in the top of the first, but runs from Maliki Haynes, Bonds and Robinson gave the Cougars the lead in the bottom of the inning. Autauga gained a run in the top of the second, but EA broke free during the bottom of the fourth. Ray, Bonds, and Crook each scored, giving the Cougars a 6-2 advantage.
The Generals fought back to tie it, scoring single runs in the fifth and sixth and two more in the seventh, but a groundball hit by Bonds drove in Fields in the bottom of the seventh and gave EA the title.
Robinson was named tournament MVP for his performance on the mound and in the batter’s box. The senior posted a .601 batting average, with four RBI. Stevens, who was dominant on the mound, and Crook, who averaged .412 and stole five bases, were named to the all-tournament team.
EA head coach Mike Sims said Davis, who was left off the team, made a big impact on the outcome of each game. Davis compiled a .428 batting average and drove in four runs.
“Davis did not get accolades,” Sims said. “However, he was our team catalyst. He led our team and helped not only get us through each game, but to the championship. I am proud of him and each member of our team. The guys played hard and earned this achievement.”
EA will next face Ezekiel Academy, this Thursday, March 11.