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Darton drops first game of young season

Darton's Parker Nix hit a solo home run in the ninth inning of Sunday's game, but it was too little, too late for the Cavs, who suffered their first lose of the season.

Darton's Parker Nix hit a solo home run in the ninth inning of Sunday's game, but it was too little, too late for the Cavs, who suffered their first lose of the season.

PANAMA CITY, Fla. — First-year Darton baseball coach Scot Hemmings may have tasted his first defeat in Sunday’s 8-1 loss to an undefeated Central Alabama squad.

But as he drove back from a three-game road trip in Panama City, Fla., he said he learned something about his team, which won two of three during its season-opening weekend.

“I learned that we play extremely hard,” said Hemmings, whose Cavs defeated Wallace State Hanceville on Friday and Gulf Coast State College on Saturday. “We played for 27 innings this weekend and never gave up. I learned that our guys can do some things, and we need to work on other things. But I have a better perspective of our ball club after this weekend.”

Freshman pitcher Ryan Lemonds started for the Cavs but was unable to get out of the first inning. He gave up three hits, three runs and walked two before teammate Ethan Glass relieved him with two outs in the inning.

Glass was one of five relief pitchers who held Central Alabama (3-0) in check until the seventh inning.

The Trojans rattled off three more runs in the seventh and added two in the eighth before Cavs sophomore Parker Nix hit a solo home run in the ninth inning to get Darton on the board.

“It got away from us in the seventh, but it was a great weekend,” Hemmings said. “If you would have told me at the start of the week that we would win two of three against the caliber of teams we played against, I would take that.”

Darton managed just six hits against a Central Alabama pitching staff that had also taken care of Meridian Community College (Miss.) and Gordon College over the weekend.

Casey James was 2-for-2 with a pair of singles, while Kevin Manos was 1-for-4 with a double.

Darton plays again Friday in its home opener at 4 p.m. against Pensacola, and either former Lee County star and Cavs ace Matthew Aldrich or freshman Tyler Oglesby will be on the mound.