Knights trounce Tiftarea, win third straight

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ALBANY -- Deerfield-Windsor has knocked the ball around the park this season.

They didn't necessary do that Tuesday, but the Knights' bats came through and their senior ace pitcher delivered again in an 8-3 win against region foe Tiftarea.

In fact, junior catcher Gil Gillespie phrased it perfectly afterward.

"We had timely hits," said Gillespie, who added one of those key base knocks in a big fourth inning that blew the game wide open.

The Knights (6-2, 2-0 Region 3-AAA) won their third straight game on the strength of a six-run fourth inning, that included three bloop singles for runs, a bases-loaded walk and a wild pitch that scored a run. Hunter Brettel, Gillespie, Harris Webb and Banks Kinslow had run-scoring singles in the inning, knocking Tiftarea starter Case Pack from the game.

The Panthers, playing in GISA Class AAA for the first time this year, won the AA state title two years ago and were the runner-up last season under head coach Chris Howell.

"Chris has got another good group," Knights head coach Rod Murray said. "We're happy to beat them."

Deerfield led, 7-1, after its six-run fourth and that was more than enough for senior hurler Chris Moates, who improved to 3-0

on the season after going 6 1/3 innings and allowing three runs on just four hits. Moates struck out nine and walked one, while throwing just 81 pitches.

"He looked great," Moates' battery mate Gillespie said. "It was probably the best outing of the year."

Moates, who is unbeaten in four starts, had his only no-decision in a loss to defending Alabama state champ Glenwood earlier this year.

His only blemishes Tuesday were solo homers hit by Tiftarea's Sumner McWhorter and Eric Lee and a seventh-inning run that scored on a groundout after he'd left the game.

"He just battled and forced the ball in play," Murray said of Moates. "That's the kind of outing you want from your senior. He's throwing the ball well with a bunch of pitches."

Rhett Cooper closed out the final inning without giving up a hit.

Kinslow went 2-for-3 with two RBI in the Knights win. Brettel was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and one RBI. Davis Moore also had two RBI. Deerfield finished with 12 hits and eight of the nine hitters had at least one hit.

Tiftarea's Pack took the loss after going 3 1/3 innings, giving up five runs on eight hits. Lee was 1-for-2 with a solo shot and a walk for the Panthers (6-3, 1-2 Region 1-AAA).

Deerfield next plays at bitter rival Sherwood Christian on Friday in Region 1-AAA action.