Wednesday, April 24, 2013

SPORTS STORY >> North Pulaski drills Mills

Leader sports editor

It’s been a long time coming, but now it’s here, North Pulaski’s first wins in 5A Central baseball action. The victories came Tuesday at Dupree Park as the Falcons swept Mills 13-3 and 16-2. The Falcons piled up 11 hits in game one and 12 in game two to go along with many walks and several errors by the Comets.

“We finally got to play two-straight scheduled games without something being canceled or rained out,” North Pulaski coach Michael Dean said. “Our timing has been off because we haven’t played consistently. Tonight we got our timing down a little better. It wasn’t just the same guys tonight getting all the hits. We hit the ball pretty well all the way down the lineup.”

North Pulaski scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning of game one to take a 3-1 lead. After a scoreless second inning, Mills added two in the top of the third to tie the game. It stayed tied until the bottom of the fourth, when North Pulaski got the first of two-straight five-run innings to end the game on the sportsmanship rule.

Cleanup hitter Austin Allen ended the game with a walk-off, two-run home run.

“He’s just been killing it,” Dean said of his senior centerfielder. “He’s the best player around that nobody knows about. He’s having a great year.”

The game-ending shot was Allen’s sixth home run of the season. He went 2 for 2 with three runs batted in and four runs scored. He walked twice. His twin brother Troy Allen also went 2 for 2 with a triple, two walks and three runs scored.

Nathan Crews, Fred Thomas, Billy Rogers, Ean Collie, Hunter McPherson and Alex Broadwell each finished with one base hit. Broadwell also got the win on the mound, throwing five innings, giving up four hits while striking out seven.

In game two, he was one of five Falcons to get multiple base hits. Thomas led the way in the 16-2 nightcap, going 3 for 4. Broadwell, Crews, Austin Allen and McPherson each got two base hits, while Jacob Aloi added one single to the tally. Troy Allen finished with no official at bats, but was hit three times, walked once and scored three runs.

“That guy just gets on base,” Dean said of Troy Allen. “He just finds a way to get on base. Whether it’s getting a hit, drawing or walk or taking a pitch.”

North Pulaski, playing as the visiting team in game two, scored five runs in the top of the first inning to quickly take command.

They added a run in the top of the third before Mills posted two in the bottom half. The Falcons then scored three in the fourth and seven in the fifth to set the final margin.

North Pulaski drew 11 walks to go with the 12 base hits in the nightcap. Austin Allen walked once, finishing the night 4 for 5 with one home run, three RBIs and six runs scored. He is now 25 of 37 at the plate this year for a .676 batting average. In eight conference games, he is 11 of 15 for a .733 average.

“That’s been against the best teams in the conference too,” Dean said. “We’ve played Little Rock Christian, Pulaski Academy and Jacksonville, and those are all playoff teams with good pitching.”

T.J. Waters got the win on the mound in game two for the Falcons.

North Pulaski (4-11, 2-6) hosts Helena-West Helena Central on Thursday to makeup a rained out game from last week.