Talladega College head coach Will Ramos believes the win over AUM shows that his baseball program is going in the right direction.
“I am very excited and proud of this team,” Ramos said. “We have done something that has never been done in Talladega. We are ranked No. 35 in the nation. We got some votes to be in the Top 25 and that is the first time that has been done. That was Monday, and then on Wednesday you come out and beat the No. 13 team in the nation. I think we are going in the right direction.”
Errors proved to be costly for the TC in the first game. The Tornadoes allowed six runs, but only two were earned.
Senior Rodrekius Wright took the loss for TC.
The lone bright spot of the game for TC was a home run to right center field by Hector Justo in the bottom half of the sixth inning. Ramos believes that homer did more than prevent the Tornadoes from being shut out for the first time in the month of March.
“The first game we came out flat,” Ramos said. “I don’t know if the kids are tired; we do have some guys injured. AUM always has a good program, so I think we came out flat. Wright threw a good game. We had four or five errors and we just could not make a play for him in the first four or five innings then we buckled down. It is too big of a challenge to come back against a team like. We were trailing 5-0 and Justo hit a homerun. That was in the last inning and we ran out of momentum. The good thing about it is that when we started the second game the momentum carried over.”
The Tornadoes’ (21-13) bats came alive in their 7-3 win in the second game of the double header.
AUM got on the board first. Jordan Johnson got things started with a triple into a gap in right center field. Johnson scored on a Hunter Cross single to make it 1-0.
TC got on the board in the second inning. Kelvin Torres hit a double down the right field line to score Kameron Mizzell to make it 1-1.
The Tornadoes took a 4-1 lead after a three run third inning. Christopher Castillo hit a single to score Dosson Stubblefield and Torres to make it 3-1. Ramon Cruz triple scored Jose Reyes to make it 4-1.
The Warhawks manufactured two runs in the third inning to cut the Tornadoes lead down to 4-3. An error allowed Johnson to score to make it 4-2. Adam Russell’s ground out scored Logan Remson from third base to make it 4-3.
TC got the two runs that gave up in the third inning back in the fourth inning. Aldris Castillo hit a double to left center field to score Reyes and Torres to make it 6-3.
Pell City native Bronson Honeycutt’s single and an error on the leftfielder allowed Castillo to score from second base to give TC a 7-3 lead.
Sylacauga native Matt Holland started the game and pitched three good innings. James Rodriguez and Edgar Echevaria pitched the final four innings to get the win.
“I knew my kids were going to hit because we have been hitting the ball well,” Ramos said. “As soon as I saw us up four up James Rodriquez came in and pitched two innings and Edgar Echevaria pitched another two innings to close the game. I know we have good enough arms to hold anybody and that has been proven.”
Dosson Stubblefield went 2-for-2 from the plate with walk in the second game. Ramos said his freshman from Childersburg has vastly improved since last fall.
“Dosson is one of my most improved hitters on the team,” Ramos said. “When he got here he had a tough fall. We had to make some adjustments for him to be successful at this level. It took him four months for him to find himself. Then he had to be mentally prepared. Coach Sharbutt actually worked with him and told him to be prepared to hit the fastball as soon as he learned that he has been one of the better hitters on the team. He is hitting well above 300.”
Ramos was pleased once again with the great support that the Tornadoes received against AUM. He said his team will need their supporters when the team returns home in April when Gulf Coast Atlantic Conference opponents come to town.
TC will hit the road on Saturday to take on Tennessee Temple.