The Covington News - - Lo­cal -

state cham­pion Lynch­burg Post 16 in an elim­i­na­tion game at ap­prox­i­mately 2 p.m. to­day.

“The rain de­lay was just huge,” said Rock­dale head coach Jack Mur­phy, whose team fin­ished the year with a 30-3 record. “We came out, we looked like we were ex­cited to be play­ing and were ready to play. Florida re­ally looked a lit­tle flat.

“When we got back out there, Florida seemed to have the mo­men­tum,” he said. “They took all of the mo­men­tum from us. It was big, but you’ve got to give Florida credit. They did what they needed to do.”

Far­rell came in and got out of the in­ning with­out an­other run scor­ing. Fort Pierce scored three times in the bot­tom of the first off of Rock­dale right-han­der Matt An­der­son. Rocky Wright had an RBI sin­gle, Ken Pam­p­ena had a sac­ri­fice fly and Kohl Gil­more scored on a wild pitch to ac­count for the runs.

Florida head coach An­drew Wells agreed with Mur­phy over the im­por­tance of the rain de­lay.

“It was big for us,” Wells said. “It al­lowed us to set­tle down a lit­tle bit, and when we started back we had the mo­men­tum. I don’t know how we would have done if we had stayed with our start­ing pitcher.”

The de­ci­sion was made to go with Far­rell and not Har­rell just be­cause of the length of the rain de­lay. Rock­dale touched Far­rell up for two runs in the sec­ond to go back on top. Tyler Ma­han led off with a dou­ble and scored on Jeremy Sparks’ sin­gle. Sparks later scored on a Randy Loew sac­ri­fice fly. Af­ter that, Far­rell shut down Post 77, al­though it wasn’t al­ways pretty. Far­rell scat­tered eight hits over 8 2/3 in­nings while walk­ing six and strik­ing out just one. Still, he al­lowed just three runs, only two earned.

“Tim just pitched great,” Wells said. “He gave us ev­ery­thing that he had.”

Far­rell was ex­pect­ing to pitch, just not in the first in­ning.

“The plan was for me to come in some­where be­tween the sixth and ninth in­nings when Richard be­gan to tire,” Far­rell said. “The rain de­lay came and they said they wanted to put me in and I was ready.”

“I got stronger as the game went along,” he said. “At first, I strug­gled with my get­ting my pitches over con­sis­tently. From the fifth through the ninth in­nings I was pretty good with my pitches.”

And Post 77’s staff wasn’t. While Rock­dale al­lowed only eight hits, it walked 11 while strik­ing out just one. There were three wild pitches, one passed ball and one hit bat­ter as well.

“We didn’t help our­selves with all we did with the walks and wild pitches,” Mur­phy said. “We haven’t pitched like that all sea­son.”

Fort Pierce tied the game in the bot­tom of the sec­ond and went ahead in the fourth as Bran­don Brown scored on an An­der­son wild pitch.

The score re­mained the same un­til the bot­tom of the sev­enth.

Post 358 loaded the bases against re­liever Daniel Jack­son. He hit Brown to force in a run and Mike Shabareck put down a per­fect bunt on a sui­cide squeeze to score Da­mon Col­lada.

“It’s about get­ting hits with guys on base,” said Wells, whose team lost to Sumter 11-1 in its open­ing game on Thurs­day. “Our guys got some big hits to­day and we took ad­van­tage of what they gave us.”

Rock­dale Post 77 sec­ond base­man Tyler Ma­han throws to first in Rock­dale’s 8-5 loss to Fort Pierce, Fla., Post 358 in the South­east Re­gional on Fri­day.

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