Prattville Christian 7, Geneva 1
GAME 3: Hazel Green 1, Helena 0 (Hazel Green is state champ)
MONTGOMERY – Hazel Green High School Coach Frankie Perez said he learned early on in his first season as the Trojans’ head baseball coach that in a clutch situation, he and the team wanted to ball in the hand of senior left-handed pitcher Tyler Duskin.
Friday night, Perez did just that and Duskin did not disappoint the Hazel Green faithful. Duskin hurled a five-hit shutout in game three of the AHSAA’s Class 6A State Baseball Championship Series as the Trojans nipped Helena 1-0, and Hazel Green (32-13) captured the school’s first-ever state baseball title.
GAME 2: Faith Academy 7, Russellville 3 (Faith is state champion)
MONTGOMERY – The third time was the charm for Faith Academy’s baseball team Friday morning as the Rams beat Russellville 7-3 to complete the sweep of the AHSA Class 5A State 5A State Baseball Championship Series at Riverwalk Stadium.
Russellville (30-16) won the 5A title in 2015, 2016 and 2017 – beating Faith Academy in the finals the last two seasons. This year’s finals belonged to Coach Matt Seymour’s Rams (36-3).
Sophomore pitcher Eli Giles (8-1), who pitched the final two outs of Thursday night’s 5-3 win in game one to notch a save, hurled six strong innings Friday allowing only four hits, one earned run and striking out eight to get the win. He was also named the Class 5A series MVP.
Faith Academy pecked away at Russellville from the get-go scoring a single run in the first, third and fifth innings to take a 3-1 lead into the top of the sixth. Senior catcher Chris Sargent delivered a bases-loaded double to clear the bases and then pinch runner Brandon White added the fourth run of the inning scoring on John Griffin Bell’s suicide squeeze bunt.
Coach Chris Heaps’ Golden Tigers scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, and relief pitcher James Flynn shut done Russellville in the seventh inning to seal the win.
Faith Academy got eight total hits with Braxton Bell had a double and two singles, John Griffin Bell had one hit and two RBIs, Jackson Bell had the double and three RBIs, and Reece Ewing had two hits.
Starting pitcher Rudy Fernandez (6-4) pitched 4 1/3 innings, allowed five hits, two earned runs and struck out two for Russellville. Houston Kitterman had a single and RBI while Brock Malone, Devin Buckhalter and Fernandez each had one hit for the Tigers.
The Class 6A series between Helena (26-15) and Hazel Green (31-12) gets underway at 4 p.m., today at Riverwalk. The Trojans won Thursday’s game 4-3 and holds a 1-0 edge in the best 2-of-3 series.
The Class 7A championship series opens Friday at 6 p.m. at Paterson Field with Hewitt-Trussville (32-9) facing Auburn (35-7). The 7A series close the AHSAA Championships Saturday at Riverwalk Stadium with game two at 10 a.m.
All championship series games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network.
The AHSAA Softball Championships is underway at Lagoon Park today through Saturday.
GAME 1: Hazel Green 4, Helena 3
Fairhope 8, Spain Park 6
Springville 3, Moody 0
Brantley 5, Sumiton Christian 1
MONTGOMERY – Brantley senior pitcher Leanna Johnson hurled a two-hitter and struck out 10 in the championship game of the AHSAA’s 24th annual State Fast-Pitch Softball Championship’s Class 1A competition and the Lady Bulldogs beat defending state champion Sumiton Christian 5-1.
The championship for Coach Cindy Hawthorne’s girls was the fourth in the last five years. Brantley won the 1A title in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Sumiton, which won the 2A championship in 2015 and 2016, won the 1A crown last year.
Johnson earned MVP honors as Brantley (53-4) went 4-0 at Lagoon Park Wednesday and Thursday. The Bulldogs opened with a 10-0 win over Isabella, an 8-0 triumph over South Lamar and a 3-0 win the Sumiton in the winner’s bracket finals. The Eagles (39-22) beat Sweet Water (27-14) 12-1 in the consolation bracket finals to set up the championship game with the Bulldogs. The Eagles and Bulldogs met in the first round with Sumiton winning 5-4 innings.
The Eagles scored in the top of the first inning in the finals – the only run allowed by Brantley all tourney, when Amber Hayes led off the game with a solo home run. Johnson only allowed on other hit, a single by Taylor Whisonant.
Brantley took the lead with in the bottom of the fourth off Eagles hurler Anna Calloway with two runs. The Bulldogs added two more in the fifth and one in the sixth – all on home runs. Hannah Sims slugged a homer in the fourth, Kayden Dunn had two-run blast in the fifth and Olivia Jones had a solo homer in the sixth. Kassidy Wilcox finished with three hits for Brantley.
CLASS 1A ALL-TOURNEY TEAM
Leanna Johnson, Brantley (MVP); Anna Katherine Kimbro, Brantley; Kassidy Wilcox, Brantley; Hannah Sims, Brantley; Taylor Whisonant, Sumiton Christian; Amber Hayes, Sumiton Christian; Anna Calloway, Sumiton Christian; Eve Myers, Sweet Water.
GAME 1: Faith Academy 5, Russellville 3
MONTGOMERY -- Mobile Christian scored nine runs in the first two innings Thursday to take a quick 9-0 lead en route to an 11-0 victory in game two complete a sweep of Lauderdale County in the AHSAA Class 3A State Baseball Championship Series.
The Leopards (29-9) now have three state championships to their credit in the last four years -- winning in 2015 and 2016.
Senior Sam Ladner, Coach Talley Haines’ lead-off hitter, had a triple, hit by pitch and walk and scored three runs in the win at Riverwalk Stadium to earn MVP honors. He also tripled in Wednesday’s game one win and scored five runs in the championship series,
Ethan Hearn and Trent Avery also had two hits for Mobile Christian. Avery had two RBIs and scored three runs while Hearn stroked two doubles.
Winning pitcher Jeffry Griffin (8-2) hurled the five-inning shutout allowing four hits and striking out two.
Catcher Slade Brown stroked a double to pace the Tigers (22-16-1). Coach Corey Looney used four pitchers in the contest. They combined to give up eight hits but only six of the 11 runs were earned.
Classes 5A and 6A opened their championship series at Paterson Field Thursday night with defending Class 5A state champion Russellville taking on Faith Academy at 4 p.m., and Helena meeting Hazel Green in the 6A opener at 7. The two series will move to Riverwalk Stadium Friday.
Hoffman (8-2) faced only 26 batters in notching eighth win of the season. Catcher Ethan Hearn slugged a homer and single to plate two runs and Sam Ladner had a triple and single and All championship series games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network.
The AHSAA Softball Championships will continue at Lagoon Park Thursday morning with first games set for 9 a.m. The 56-team, seven-classification state tourney will conclude Saturday.