J.R. Tidwell/FCT Ethan Bolton (18) of Red Bay beats the throw from the catcher while stealing second base against the Oakman Wildcats in the first round of the 2012 2A state playoffs on Friday. Blanton helped the Tigers score four of their five runs in game one.

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Red Bay defeats Oakman, moves on to ACA

Published 6:00am Wednesday, April 25, 2012

RED BAY — The Red Bay Tigers extended their 2012 baseball season last weekend by defeating the Oakman Wildcats in a three-game series.

Game one remained scoreless until the bottom of the third inning. Ethan Blanton hit a double to the right field wall, and then was moved to third base on a sac bunt by Tra Elliott.

Jade Pounds laid down another sac bunt, this one bringing in Blanton for an RBI. Oakman brought in a run in the top of the next inning with a fielder’s choice. This would be the only run that the Wildcats would score in the game.

Nick Thorn regained the lead for Red Bay when he took home plate on a delayed steal, then Blanton scored another insurance run by stealing home plate.

Blanton put two more runs on the board for the Tigers in the bottom of the sixth with a two-RBI double to center field.

Blanton came up big for Red Bay in game one despite an outfield collision with Austin Malone while chasing a fly ball. Red Bay took game one 5-1.

Things did not go as well for the Tigers in game two. By the bottom of the fifth inning Oakman was winning 5-1. Red Bay’s only run to that point was brought in thanks to a throwing error on a groundball hit by Austin Thorn.

The Wildcats put up six more runs in the final three innings of the game.

The Tigers managed three more runs in the contest, but were unable to overcome Oakman’s big lead.

The series was tied 1-1 after Friday, forcing a third game on Saturday. Red Bay came out firing and won the game 6-1.

“It feels great [to win],” Red Bay head coach Donnie Hastings said.

“This is something we’ve been working for, and working through distractions and hits this season. This was a total team effort, and we have some younger guys stepping up for us. I’m real proud of the guys.”

The Tigers now moves on to round two of the 2A state playoffs, where they will face American Christian Academy in Tuscaloosa next Friday.

“We’ve got to hit better,” Hastings said. “I’m not convinced we’ve played our best game yet.”

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