Southwest upsets Blue Eye to open district play
The sixth-seeded Southwest Trojans baseball team opened district play on Saturday, May 11 at Clever with a 7-5 upset third-seeded Blue Eye.
The first inning was a little rough defensively. Both teams combined for six errors. Despite the miscues, Coach Kenny Ferguson's Trojans held a 3-2 lead.
Southwest plated another run in the top of the second inning when Dusty Morgan scored on Josh Cutbirth's single to make the score 4-2.
Blue Eye helped its own cause by making some outstanding defensive plays to slow down the Trojan offense. A slick, inning-ending one-six-three double play and a phenomenal diving catch in deep right center on a shot off the bat of Cutbirth kept the game close.
The Bulldogs' offense showed some life in the bottom of the fourth when Blue Eye scored two runs to knot the game at 4-4.
The underdog Trojans regained control of the game in the top of the sixth by scoring three runs.
John Mulkey led the sixth frame getting hit by a pitch. Blue Eye's pitcher hit another batter, which forced a pitching change.
Dusty Morgan greeted the new Bulldogs' hurler with a single to load the bases.
With two outs, Cutbirth hit an 0-2 pitch to left field for a single, which scored Mulkey.
Brad Daniels continued the Trojans' inning, plating a pair of runs with a single and lifting Southwest to a 7-4 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh, Blue Eye showed some moxie by cutting the score to 7-5, but it wasn't enough to prevent the upset, as the Trojans pulled off the win and earned a date with the state-ranked Clever Bluejays.
"I have been telling my guys all year that we are better than our 7-13 record," said Ferguson. "When we clean it up on defense, we could surprise some people at districts. I'm very proud of our team effort today and the way this bunch battled."
Ferguson also had high praise for the pitching performance of Lane England, who scattered nine hits, struck out six and walked only one in going the distance.
"Lane pitched well," said Ferguson. "His curve ball was the best today that it had been all-season long."