Arnold offense comes alive in Panama City Invitational rally


Arnold plays Choctawhatchee in the District 1-5A tournament.

Heather Leiphart photo
Published: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 21:47 PM.

SPRINGFIELD — Arnold baseball coach Mitch Kelly wasn’t all that motivated to conduct a body count on the ineptness on the Marlins’ offense this month.

He was a lot more anxious, however, to explain what his ballclub’s come-from-behind 6-5 eight-inning win over Ensworth (Tenn.) could mean in the scheme of things.

It was the second straight extra inning game for Arnold in the Panama City Invitational high school baseball tournament that moved back to host Rutherford’s complex on Wednesday. The Marlins lost 1-0 to Jacksonville Mandarin on Tuesday night when the first round was played at Bozeman because of wet grounds at Rutherford’s field.

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That outcome wasted a 13-strikeout performance by Bobby Courson, who pitched six shutout innings and surrendered only three hits. When Arnold (3-12) entered the bottom of the sixth inning against Ensworth trailing 5-0 on Wednesday, it translated into a scoreless streak of 25 consecutive innings spanning three shutout losses.

 Once the Marlins finally crossed home plate they got reacquainted with that ritual and scored five times in the sixth. A two-out, bases loaded walk to Takoda Carmichael pushed across the winning run in the bottom of the eighth.

“We finally strung together a couple of hits,” Kelly said. “It seemed like we had been doing all our hitting with two outs” and the bases empty. “This team really needed something good to happen, and it shows these kids haven’t given up.”

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