By JOSH FRYE
Escambia County High School’s varsity baseball team still has a hold on the second place slot within the AHSAA Class 4A, Region 1 standings after winning three games last week and dropping only one. The ECHS Blue Devils started off the week, defeating Monroe County, 6-5, last Tuesday, April 6 and dropped game 2 of the double-header, 5-2.
Hasten Dean, Jamrion Robinson, Anthony McCants, James Gibson, Michael Merchant and Jacorie Nickson all scored for ECHS during the 6-5 victory over the Tigers. Lebron Willis gained the win on the mound for the Blue Devils, striking out 4 batters and allowing 5 runs off 5 hits. Despite the solid hitting performance from ECHS, the team made 5 errors behind the pitcher.
During the second game of the double-header, McCants and Merchant scored the only runs for the Blue Devils, despite a strong pitching performance from Exavion Bradley. Bradley registered the loss on mound, allowing 5 runs off 1 hit, striking out 3 batters and walking 7.
Robinson, McCants and Lebron Hooks combined to gain 2 runs each during a 10-2 victory in a double feature over Blount last Thursday (April 8). In addition, Gibson, Merchant, Cali McCants, Jacori Dortch and James Whatley added 1 run each. Dean gained the win on the mound for the Blue Devils. The righthander surrendered 1 run on 1 hit over 5 innings. Dean threw 8 strikeouts and walked only 1 batter.
Nickson helped launch ECHS to a 7-3 win over the Leopards during game two of the double-feature. Nickson registered 2 runs on 2 hits. Dortch, Robinson, Whatley, Willis and Dean scored one run each. Willis, the starting pitcher, surrendered two runs and struck out 2. Dortch, the closing pitcher, surrendered 1 run on 1 hit and struck out 1 batter.
According to ECHS head coach Roland Hall, last week’s wins were due in large part to the Blue Devils outstanding pitching efforts.
“Hasten Dean has developed,” Hall said. “He (Dean) has turned into a pitching ace this season. He has been consistent on the mound.”
Hall added that the young team has rallied around each other this season to create a great morale that has been missing in past seasons.
ECHS is 8-12 on the season after struggling early. This week, the Blue Devils will have the chance to secure a playoff appearance, the first in several years, if they can defeat Mobile Christian this Thursday, April 15.