Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Stillman Baseball Wins SIAC Championship

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Stillman Baseball Wins SIAC Championship

Article excerpt

By Ken Rogers

The Dothan Eagle

OZARK | Stillman College baseball coach Donny Crawford had planned to pitch someone other than Josh Cagle in Sunday's Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament championship game.

Problem is, he had to break the news to Cagle -- who had pitched a complete game on Thursday in Stillman's first-round 3-2 victory over Benedict at Eagle Stadium.

"He kind of looked at me and said, 'I want the ball,'" Crawford said.

So Crawford gave it to him.

Again.

And the left-hander gutted out a 7-2 victory over Paine College that extended the Tigers' SIAC winning streak to 39 games and captured their fifth conference tournament title in the last six years.

"I had to find a way to get outs," said Cagle (8-4), who gave up eight hits, while walking two and striking out three. "I didn't have my best stuff today. I just had to battle through it and fight. ... I did the same thing last year."

He's right. In fact, this feat may have been easier than last season. This year, the senior pitched a complete game on Thursday. Last season, he went the distance on Friday, but still came back and closed it out on Sunday.

Crawford said the more he thought about it, the more it made sense to go with his ace.

"He wants the ball, we're better off with him starting and closing with the other guys, instead of vice-versa," he said. "So, let's see if we can get some innings out of him. He just competed.

"He didn't have his best stuff, but he competes. He knows how to pitch. That's the secret for him."

Paine (29-22), which routed Albany State 11-1 to reach the championship round, scored in top of the first. Darryl Wilson reached on an infield single and advanced to second on a throwing error on the play. He moved to third on a fielder's choice and scored on a wild pitch.

Stillman (28-16) answered in the bottom of the second. Consecutive errors to lead off the inning allowed Landon Wilson and Trent Posey to reach. Kameron McCreless made the Lions pay with a two-run double to left-center.

The Lions were hurt by five errors. First-year Paine head coach Kerby Marshall said that was way too many against Stillman. …

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