New Albany’s season came to an end Monday night, falling in game three of their third round series against Amory, 6-1.
“Early on, we got behind on some counts, got some walks and they got some big hits,” NAHS head coach John Walker said. “They just beat us tonight. They got a better starting performance on the mound than we got, and he (Will Cox) was probably better tonight than he was the other night, in my opinion. He challenged us tonight, and we fell a little bit short.”
Cox was on the mound for the Panthers for the second time in the series and struck out three in the first two innings while only allowing one hit in the first four innings. Offensively, Amory scored three runs in the first, two off a double by Chandler Riggs and another off a single by Dalton Conwill. They would add two more in the third after Riggs connected on his second hit, a triple, and later, a double by Forest Williams brought in the fifth run, prompting a pitching change for the Bulldogs, as Tyler Basil replaced Tyler Beaty.
Basil allowed only one more Amory run after surrendering a lead off double in the fifth, which later led to Clint Clay scoring on a throwing error. The senior pitching duo combined for 11 strikeouts, but offensively, the Bulldogs scored only one run off a double by Beaty in the sixth. Cox registered eight strikeouts and allowed five hits in the complete game win.
New Albany ends the 2011 season at 21-12 (7-3) and will graduate nine seniors, who have helped build the program to a championship contender.
“What that group has done has set the foundation for what we’re trying to do at New Albany. They know what the playoffs are like and what a championship chase is like,” Walker said. “They know what it’s like and what to expect and if we can build on this, we can make a successful program. We’re very capable of doing that. I’m proud of these guys, and I couldn’t be anymore proud of them, regardless of wins and losses. They’re quality young men and they represent our school, our program and our community well.”