Auburn, Madison Academy Win Baseball Titles

Join Brantley, American Christian, Haleyville, Hartselle As State Champs


Game 2: Brantley 9, Athens Bible (8 innings)

Jared Wiley got just one at bat Wednesday afternoon in the Class 1A state baseball finals here at Riverwalk Stadium. The designated hitter had been hitting for Wiley, Brantley’s third baseman, but coach Ashley Kilcrease put the bat in his hands when it counted most.

Wiley, batting in the bottom of the eighth inning with the score tied at 8-8, drilled a single up the middle off Athens Bible reliever Jordan Pugh to drive in Chase Hall for the winning run as the Bulldogs captured the Class 1A state championship.

Brantley (26-10) won the series over defending champion Athens Bible in two straight games, but both were nail biters all the way. The Trojans (28-8) jumped on Bulldogs starter Stephen Walker in the first inning for three runs. Walker (8-3) got stronger as the game moved along, however, and eventually persevered to the end – going all eight innings, allowing 11 hits and striking out two.

Brantley tied the game in the bottom of the inning and then posted four runs in the fifth for a 7-3 lead. The Trojans battled back with four runs of their own in the top of the sixth and took the lead in the eighth on Brett Westbrook’s RBI double to the left-field fence.

That set up Wiley’s game-winning hit in the bottom of the inning.

Brantley catcher Chris Walker went 3-for-3 with two RBIs. Series MVP Adam Hill, who pitched the game one 3-1 win, had two hits and an RBI, pitcher Stephen Walker and Jared Hall each added two hits and an RBI. Jared Hall’s sharp single to right tied the game in the bottom of the eighth for the Bulldogs, who pounded out 12 hits.

Connor Brown and Westbrook each had two hits and two RBIs for the Trojans. Tyler Sherrod also had two hits.

Jesse Gibson started and went 4 1/3 innings. Pugh pitched the final 2 1/3 innings to get the loss

Game 1—Brantley 3, Athens Bible 1
Winning pitcher Adam Hill fired a complete-game five-hitter to shut down Athens Bible in game one of the best-of-three series which kicked off the AHSAA State Baseball Championships.

Hill used only seven pitches to set down the Trojans (28-7) in the first inning, and while Athens Bible hit the ball hard, he stayed trouble free most of the game.

Hill was picked up by a big catch in left field by Devante Porter in the bottom of the fifth inning. Jonathan Winland drove a long ball into the gap between Porter and Bulldogs center fielder Stephen Walker. Porter fell behind his teammate to catch the ball. Three straight hits led to the Trojans’ only run, but Hill got out of the inning when shortstop Anthony Gulley fielded a grounder and turned it into a doubleplay.

Chase Hall had a double and single and RBI to pace Brantley (25-10). Catcher Chris Walker had a single and RBI–driving in the second run of the game for the Bulldogs in the top of the second. Hill (3-1), who struck out one and walked one, also had two hits.

Austin Price (7-2) also went the distance allowing only seven hits, walking two and striking out eight.  Catcher Jordan Pugh and left fielder Kenneth Sherrod had two hits each for Athens Bible.


Game 2: American Christian 11, Lexington 0

Christian Academy coach Matt Moore was forced to use his ace left-hander Dillon Williams in a reliever’s role in a semifinal playoff sweep of  two-time defending state champion Leroy last weekend.

That strategy prompted him to do it again in the Class 2A State Championship series with Lexington and once again, it worked like a charm.

Williams, who pitched the final two innings of a 4-3 win over the Bears on Wednesday night, picked up his second save in two days in the finals with three more shutout innings in the 12-0 ACA win. The state crown was the first for American Christian (28-9) in Class 2A and the fourth overall. The Pats won the 1A crown in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

Williams allowed two hits and struck out three to save the win for senior starter John Moore, who allowed two hits in two innings. The pitchers received plenty of offensive support, especially from catcher Marc Sullivan. He pounded a double and single and drove in four runs. Daniel O’Quinn also had a double and single and two RBIs and Austin Grammar had one hit and four RBIs. Steadman Shealy had two hits and scored three runs while Andy Cooke had two hits and two runs scored.

            Lexington (32-19), in the finals for the first time in school history, managed just four hits with Zach Rogers pounding a double.
Game 1: American Christian 4, Lexington 3

American Christian built a 4-0 lead after four innings and then fought off a late Lexington rally to win game one of the AHSAA Class 2A State Baseball Championship Series at Paterson Field Wednesday, 4-3.

Steadman Shealy had a single and RBI, Marc Sullivan ripped an RBI double and Parker Barrineau had an RBI single to lead the Patriots (27-9) offensively. Winning pitcher Kyle Smelley hurled five strong innings, allowing seven hits, three runs and striking out seven. Reliever Dillon Williams whiffed two over the final two innings, allowed no hits and picked up the important save.

Nathan Butler pitched five innings for Lexington (32-18), yielding seven hits and striking out five to get the loss.  Logan Thompson drove in two runs with a single in the Bears’ three-run sixth inning rally. Kenneth Ratliff also had two hits for Lexington,


Game 2: Madison Academy 9, Trinity 8

Madison Academy learned all too well what comes around goes around in the second game of the Class 3A State Baseball Championship Series Friday morning at Riverwalk Stadium

On Thursday night, a couple of miscues by Trinity opened the door to eight-run MA rally in the top of the seventh inning led to the Mustangs’ improbable 9-6 win.

Friday, it was Madison Academy (32-18) that held a comfortable 8-1 lead going into the sixth inning when some walks, a couple of errors and some timely Wildcats hits produced a seven-run rally to tie the game at 8-8.

This time, however, the Mustangs had a a chance to make amends, scoring the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh to claim a 9-8 victory and the Class 3A state crown.

Stafford Booth’s bases-loaded triple to the 395-foot sign in left-center field was the key hit early for Madison Academy. His blow highlighted a six-run fourth inning that set up Trinity’s rally two innings later.

Ben Seabrook came in to relieve starter Drew Mobley for Madison Academy and shut down the Wildcats (26-10) the final 1 1/3 innings to get the win. He also had a single and was named the 3A Championship Series MVP.

Chris Adams also had two hits, including a double, for MA and Jordan Kerr had a double and three RBIs. Spencer Palmer had a single and provided the game-winning RBI in the bottom of the seventh with a sacrifice fly.

Mobley allowed seven hits in 5 2/3 innings, four earned runs and struck out six.

Catcher Stephen Vosel had two hits and two RBIs for Trinity. Clay Finkelstein and Phillip Barrow also had two hits each and Jack Poundstone slugged a triple.
Game 1: Madison Academy 9, Trinity 6


Third baseman Andrew Parrish’s grand-slam home run over the left-field wall at Paterson Field in the top of the seventh inning closed out an incredible finish for Madison Academy (31-16) as the Mustangs rallied for eight runs in the top of the seventh inning for a 9-6 victory over Trinity.

Madison Academy trailed 6-1 heading into the final frame, but the Wildcats (26-9) made three errors in the inning to open the door for the improbable rally. The win gave the Mustangs a 1-0 edge in the best-of-three Class 3A State Baseball Championship series that resumes Friday with game 2 at 10 a.m. at Riverwalk Stadium. Game three will follow at approximately 1 p.m. if needed.

Ben Seabrook added two doubles and an RBI for Madison Academy and Ian Rice had two hits. Winning pitcher Stafford Booth allowed all six Trinity runs in six innings of work, gave up nine hits and struck out two. Spencer Palmer came in after the big rally to pitch the bottom of the seventh and got the save.

Josh Teel had three hits and an RBI for Trinity. Weston Epperson also had two hits and an RBI and Clay Finkelstein had one hit and two RBIs. Starting pitcher Jimmy Morgan allowed jut one hit over the first six innings but gave up five runs in the top of the seventh–four unearned. Reliever Cam Ransburgh came in to get all three outs in the seventh but was tagged for Parrish’s game-winning homer.


Game 3: Haleyville 4, Thomasville1

Left-hander Drew Batchelor said pitching in the state finals was a “dream come true.” Batchelor hurled  three-hitter, walked none and struck out six Wednesday night as Haleyville rebounded from a game two loss to win the Class 4A State Baseball Championship series with a 4-1 win in game three at Montgomery’s Riverwalk Stadium.

Thomasville (26-10) won game two 7-0 behind a complete game shutout performance by its own pitching hero Reeves Bozeman. In game three, it was Batchelor (8-0) who provided the pitching effort that propelled the Lions (29-11) to their first-ever state baseball title.

Coach Todd McNutt’s team scratched across two runs in the top of the second inning in the final game when starting pitcher William Buford ran into control problems. Haleyville got both runs on bases-loaded walks issued to No. 9 hitter Jacob Kennedy and lead-off hitter Destin Dye.

Dye delivered the final blow with a two-run single in the top of the sixth off reliever Rob Anderson. Dye finished 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Ryan Forrester, who pitched the Game 1 win Tuesday night, had one hit in the final game and had four for the series to earn MVP honors.

Walt Bedsole had an RBI single for Thomasville in the bottom of the fourth to spoil Batchelor’s shutout effort. Buford, Mallan Sheffield and Jamie Morgan also had singles for Thomasville.

Game 2: Thomasville 7, Haleyville 0

Pitcher Reeves Bozeman needed only 78 pitches to shut out Haleyville 7-0 in game two of the Class 4A State Baseball Championship Series.

            The Lions (28-11) won game one 3-1 on Tuesday night, but Bozeman, a right-handed senior who allowed just four hits, walked none and struck out three, evened the series to set up game three.

            Lead-off hitter Tevan Pope got hits and scored three times for the winning Tigers (26-9).  Bozeman helped his own cause with three hits – including a two-run homer to highlight a five-run third inning.    William Buford added two hits and two RBIs, and Walt Bedsole had a double and single.

            Ryan Forrester had a single and double for Haleyville.

            Michael McDonald started for Haleyville and got the loss.

Game 1—Haleyville 3, Thomasville 1

            Haleyville scratched out a run in the third inning, then added two insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth to beat Thomasville in the first game of the Class 4A state baseball championship series at Paterson Field Tuesday night.

            The Lions (28-10) got a strong pitching performance from ace Ryan Forrester (12-2), who scattered seven hits, struck out eight and pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the third inning by striking out No. 3 hitter Reeves Bozeman and clean-up hitter Jay Williams. He whiffed the two sluggers six times in the course of the contest. Forrester also pitched out of a jam in the seventh inning.

            Williams (9-2), the losing pitcher, also had a quality outing, allowing just five hits and two earned runs while striking out eight over six innings.

            Designated hitter Drew Batchelor had an RBI single, Michael McDonald added a double and Kameron McCreless had a single and scored one run for Haleyville.

            Thomasville (25-9) was led by center fielder William Buford’s two hits. The Tigers also turned three double plays, including an unassisted DP by shortstop Russ Wright in the fifth inning.

            Haleyville and Thomasville meet in game two of the series Wednesday at Riverwalk Stadium at 4 p.m. Game three, if needed, will be at 7.


Game 3: Hartselle 4, Briarwood Christian 0

Luke Bole slugged a three-run homer deep over the right-field wall in the top of the third inning Thursday night to lift Hartselle to a 4-0 win over Briarwood Christian in the final game of the Class 5A State Baseball Championship Series.

The Tigers (50-9), who became the first team in AHSAA history to win 50 baseball games in a single season, won the first state title for Hartselle since the 2000 season. It was the seventh state crown in coach William Booth’s tenure and the 775th win over the legendary coach’s Hartselle career.

Bole, named MVP of the series, also had a triple and a walk in four plate appearances. Winning pitcher Garrett Turrentine (11-1) managed a single for the only other Tiger hit of the final game. Turrentine only allowed four hits, walking three and striking out seven.

Briarwood Christian (31-9), coached by Lee Hall, got singles from Evan Simmons, Paul McKelvey, Debo Crew and Jonathan Logan. Logan Crook started and went 2 2/3 innings and suffered the loss. The only hit he allowed was Bole’s home run, the 20th of the season for the Hartselle senior who finished the season with 73 RBIs.
          Reliever Evan Simmons hurled the final 4 1/3 innings, allowing two hits, striking out three and yielding no runs.

Game 2: Hartselle 8, Briarwood Christian 3

 Hartselle’s Tigers evened the AHSAA Class 5A Baseball Championship Series with Briarwood Christian in game two Thursday afternoon and set a new AHSAA state record for wins in a season in the process with the 8-3 win.

The Tigers (49-9) broke the win mark of 48 set by Cullman in 2007 with an 11-hit barrage that produced three doubles–one each by Zack Waddell, Luke Bole and Nic Howard. Waddell finished with three hits and three RBIs. Bole also had a triple and Josh Doyle pounded out three singles.

Winning pitcher Chad Girodo (17-1) went 6 2/3 innings, allowed six hits and struck out three for Coach William Booth’s Tigers. Tre Austin got the last out in relief.

Brett Conner stroked two doubles for Briarwood (31-8) and Ben Bracewell and Paul McKelvey also had a double each. Losing pitcher David Woods (4-3) went the distance, allowing all 11 hits and striking out two.

Game 1: Briarwood Christian 2, Hartselle 1

Briarwood Christian senior ace Ben Bracewell fired a three-hitter Wednesday night to out-duel Hartselle standout pitcher Luke Bole as the Lions won Game 1 of the Class 5A State Baseball Championships 2-1 at Paterson Field.

Bracewell was masterful while striking out nine and walking four. He gave up the only run in the seventh inning when Walton Ashunder drove in the Tigers’ only run with a sacrifice fly.

Bole limited Briarwood (31-7) to just one hit to Evan Simmons, who scored both runs while reaching base two more times on hit-by-pitches. Bracewell drove in the Lions’ only RBI.

Bole struck out seven and allowed two unearned runs.


Game 2: Auburn 13, Oxford 3

Auburn’s Tigers (34-8) pounded out 12 hits Friday afternoon and swept the Class 6A State Baseball Championship Series to claim the state title at Riverwalk Stadium.
James Ponder, named the 6A Series MVP, went 4-for-4 with two runs scored and six RBIs. He had two doubles among his hits for Coach Matt Cimo’s Tigers. Chace Mitchell three RBIs – two coming on sacrifice flies, and Happy Gregg went 2-for-2 with an RBI and four runs scored. Reid Carter and Tanner Cimo also had two hits each and Carter drover in two runs.

Winning pitcher Andrew Eiland (7-1) hurled all six innings, allowed eight hits, one earned run and struck out two. Tucker Simpson, a freshman starter for Oxford, took the loss.

Yellow Jackets center fielder Brandon Roberts, a freshman, turned in two defensive gems by running down towering Auburn blasts near the wall and also went 3-for-3 with a double and two singles. John Pilkington also had one hit and an RBI for Oxford (28-14).

The losers fell behind 4-0 in the first inning but closed the gap to 5-3 after 4 ½ innings. Auburn clawed back for three in the fifth and five runs in the sixth – the final three coming on Ponder’s double down the left-field line to end the game.

Game 1: Auburn 4, Oxford 1

            Scott Norrell (8-0) scattered six hits and struck out seven in a complete-game effort at Paterson Field Thursday night as Auburn beat Oxford 4-1 in Game 1 of the Class 6A State Baseball Championship Series.

The two teams close out the best-of-3 series Friday at Riverwalk Stadium at 4 p.m. Game 3, if needed, will follow 30 minutes after game 2.

Norrell got all the run support he needed in the first inning when clean-up hitter Happy Gregg slugged a two-run homer. Jonathan Thompson also had a triple and single and scored twice for the Tigers (35-8).

John Pilkington (8-3) also pitched well for Oxford (28-13). He gave up seven hits and two earned runs while striking out four in his seven innings of work. Brandon Roberts had two hits, John Juricich had an RBI single and Kyle O’Dell ripped a double to lead the Jackets.

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