St. Pauls eliminates Gulf Shores

By Dusty Cole
Posted 4/30/07

With a loss at St.Paul's on Saturday, Gulf Shores failed to advance out of the first round of the 5A state playoffs. 

Despite a loss in game one, the Dolphins forced Saturday’s game three with a win an impressive game two no-hitter. Gulf …

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St. Pauls eliminates Gulf Shores

Posted

With a loss at St.Paul's on Saturday, Gulf Shores failed to advance out of the first round of the 5A state playoffs. 

Despite a loss in game one, the Dolphins forced Saturday’s game three with a win an impressive game two no-hitter. Gulf Shores lost game three by the final score of 9-7. 

Ethan Simantel started on the mound for the Dolphins and threw four complete innings.  Simantel gave up four earned runs and was a no decision.

Eric Linkinhoker finished the remaining three innings and gave up five runs.  Linkinhoker was tagged with the loss.  Simantel and Linkinhoker gave up 17 hits between them.  Gulf Shores managed to produce 9 hits on offense. 

“They out hit us, they just beat us” said Gulf Shores head coach Donnie Spohn in reference to the hit differential. 

After being down 4-0, D.J. Jones got things going for the Dolphins in the bottom of the fourth with a solo home run.  This was Jones’ 16th of the season and the second of this series. 

Jones had another solo shot in the game one loss.  Jones' home run seemed to wake his teammates as Josh Gaddis and Evan Stringfellow followed with RBI doubles of their own. 

Gulf Shores took the lead with the score 5-4 going into the fifth inning.  St. Paul's answered in the proceeding half inning by scoring 3 runs to regather the lead.

Both teams added two runs in their respective half of the seventh inning which produced the final score of 9-7. 

St. Paul's won game one which took place Friday afternoon at St. Paul's.  The Dolphins did not play their best baseball, committing five errors and leaving 12 men on base (three times with the bases loaded). 

Zach Stuart was the starting pitcher for Gulf Shores and went four innings and gave up four hits, four walks, and six runs, three of which were earned.  Gary Johnston came on in relief and pitched two innings and gave up one run and one hit. 

The St. Paul's Saints started Andrew Miller in game one. He pitched four and a third innings and gave up five hits, five walks, one run and struck out six. St. Paul's pitcher A.J. McCarron came on in the fifth inning with the bases loaded and got the Saints out of a jam.

Offensively for the Dolphins in game one Chase Dichiara had two hits. Jones hit 15th home run of the year and Evan Stringfellow chipped in with a RBI. Jones accounted for the third run when he scored on an error in the sixth inning. 

Gulf Shores defeated St. Paul's in game two Friday night by the score 3-0. 

Coach Spohn spoke of his team's mindset going into game two, “We have not lost two games in a row all year, and my guys know that. I think that played a part in how we played tonight.” Jones pitched a no-hitter in game two.  Jones pitched seven no-hit innings in which he struck out 10 and walked only one. 

The Saints started pitcher Corey Fountian who did a good job of keeping it close despite the Jones dominating the Saints hitters.  Fountain threw a complete game allowing six hits, two walks, three runs and he struck out six. 

Dolphins designated hitter Kyle Kelso drove the first run with a single in the bottom of the second inning. Kelso added another RBI in the fourth with a sacrifice fly which scored Johnston.  Dichiara was credited with the third and final RBI with a single in the sixth inning. Justin Reeves doubled and stole third scored on Dichiara's hit. 

Gulf Shores finished the season with a record of 28-10. They are area champions with a mark of 5-1 in their area.  Monday morning Jones was honored as an All-American by PlayStation.  Jones is one of only 40 chosen in the Unites States.