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Class 7A State Baseball Championship Series Hewitt-Trussville Sweeps Auburn for 7A State Crown

     MONTGOMERY –  Hewitt-Trussville High School junior left-hander Cameron Furr (8-1) followed sophomore lefty Carson Skipper’s first-game shutout performance with one of his own Saturday as the Huskies won game two of the Class 7A State Baseball Championship Series 2-0 over Auburn at Riverwalk Stadium to claim the school’s first-ever state title.
      Furr allowed only four hits, walked none and struck out four while throwing just 78 pitches in the seven-inning win.  Skipper (11-2), who tossed a three-hitter in Friday night’s 6-0 first-game win, drove in Keegan Morrow in the third inning for Hewitt’s second run Saturday and gave Furr just enough  cushion to keep Auburn (32-13) off stride at the plate.
       Coach Jeff Mauldin’s Huskies (36-11) only managed five hits off Tigers starter Ryan Watson (5-1), who walked three and struck out four in five innings.  Leadoff hitter Tyler Tolbert and Morrow had two each. Tolbert opened the bottom of the first with a hit and scored on a fielder’s choice by Ed Johnson.
     Rowdy Jordan, Garrett Morris, Andrew Naismith and Noah Barnes each had singles for Coach Matt Cimo’s Tigers.
      Cullman and Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa close out the 2016 AHSAA Baseball Championships at Riverwalk Stadium Saturday afternoon with game to of the best-of-three series at 4 p.m.
      All games are being live-streamed  by the NFHS Network.

Class 6A State Championship Series Class 6A: Game 1 Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 4, Cullman 3

     MONTGOMERY –  Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa rallied in the bottom of the seventh inning to beat Cullman 4-3 Friday night at Paterson Field in game one of the Class 6A State Baseball Championship Series. Game two moves to Riverwalk Stadium Saturday at 4 p.m. Game three will follow at approximately 7 p.m. if needed.
    Cullman (40-12) took a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning, but Hillcrest tied the game to set up the exciting finish. Coach Brent Patterson’s Bearcats took the lead again 3-2 in the top of the seventh before Coach Mark Garner’s Patriots scored twice to win.
     Michael Garner pitched 6 1/3 innings allowing three hits and three runs for Hillcrest. Reliever Tyler Frederick (5-1) got the final two outs in the seventh to get the win in relief. He faced three batters and struck out one.
    Cullman’s Jacob Heatherly pitched six innings allowing four hits and striking out four. Carter Bowen and Levi Thomas pitched in the seventh. Bowen (5-4) got the loss.
      Blake Robbins had a single and two RBIs for the Patriots. Frederick also had a hit, scored a run and drew a crucial walk. Sage Bailey also had a hit and scored a run, and Walt Bailey had two hits.
     Kolby Robinson had three hits as leadoff hitter for Cullman. Ben Smith had a pinch-hit single and RBI.
    All games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network.


Class 7A State Championship Series Class 7A: Game 1 Hewitt-Trussville 6, Auburn 0

     MONTGOMERY –  Hewitt-Trussville sophomore pitcher Carson Skipper pitched a three-hit shutout Friday afternoon at Paterson Field as the Huskies captured a 6-0 win over Auburn in game one of the Class 7A State Baseball Championship Series. Game two moves to Riverwalk Stadium Saturday morning at 10 a.m. Game three will follow at approximately 1 p.m. if needed.
     Skipper (11-2) walked none, struck out eight and threw only 86 pitches to get the victory for Coach Jeff Mauldin’s Huskies. Senior center fielder Keegan Morrow tripled in three runs to lead Hewitt-Trussville (35-11). Junior left fielder Grayson Cash also had one hit, one RBI and scored two runs. Jamison Stennis also slugged a double.
     Andrew Naismith (5-3) allowed two hits, walked four and struck out five in five innings to get the loss for Auburn (32-12). Tyler Rabren pitched the final two innings for Coach Matt Cimo’s  Tigers.  Morgan Brown had two hits for Auburn and Austin Triplett had the other hit.
     Cullman (40-11) and Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (37-10) played the first game of the Class 6A series Friday night.
      The 6A series also moves to Riverwalk Stadium Saturday with game 2 at 4 p.m.
    All games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network.

Class 5A State Championship Series Russellville beat Faith Academy Twice to Claim Title

    MONTGOMERY –  Senior left-hander Austin Bohannon (14-1) hurled a one-hitter in game 2 and senior right-hander Austin Kitterman (10-1) pitched a complete game in the game 3 as defending state champion Russellville beat Faith Academy 3-0 and 5-3 Friday to capture the Class 5A State Baseball Championship at Riverwalk Stadium.
    Faith Academy (36-6) won game one on Thursday night at Paterson field 9-1.
    Bohannon had a no-hitter until Brooks Carson tripled with two outs in the top of the sixth inning.  Bohannon finished with three walks and three strikeouts as he faced just 25 batters and threw only 94 pitches to get the shutout win.
    That set the stage for Kitterman, who suffered a life-threatening injury in a four-wheeler accident in 2014, pitched a gritty game in the finals allowing nine hits, striking out six and walking none. His head coach Chris Heaps said just having Kitterman’s presence on the team was “a miracle.”
     Kitterman threw 92 pitches to notch the 5-3 championship game win. 
     Landon Oliver had two hits and two RBIs – driving in two runs in the bottom of the first in game three to help Russellville (48-7) take a 3-0 lead. 
      Christopher Sargent’s two-run double in the top of the second cut the lead to 3-2 for Faith Academy (36-7), coached by Matt Seymour.  Will Freeman, who pitched game one win for the Rams, had a double and game-tyng RBI in the third.
     The Golden Tigers took the lead when Judd Ward, who had two hits, tripled and scored on a wild pitch in the fifth. The team added an insurance run on Colin Garrison’s single in the sixth.      Faith Academy pitcher Gabe Shepard (8-2) pitched all six innings for the Rams. He allowed eight hits, walked two and struck out five.
GAME 2:  Russellville 3, Faith Academy 0
     Bohannon’s pitching performance in game two kept the Golden Tigers’ championship hopes alive. He earned Class 5A State Championship Series MVP for his effort.
    Rams starter Reece Ewing (7-2) also had a no-hitter until the Golden Tigers bunched three hits together in the bottom of the fifth to plate two runs.  The big hit was a bases-loaded single by shortstop Reed Smith to plate pinch runner Tom Barkley and Landon Ezzell. Smith walked and scored in the first inning on a wild pitch to put Russellville up 1-0 early.
     Ewing went 4 1/3 innings allowing three hits, three runs and striking out three. Michael Morris hurled the final 1 1/3 innings for the Rams of Coach Mike Seymour.
     Russellville left just two runners on base. Smith also turned in two big plays defensively in game two and another in game 3.

Class 4A State Championship Series Class 4A: Game 2 UMS-Wright 4, Oneonta 1 (UMS-Wright wins state title)

     MONTGOMERY –  Senior right fielder Chauncey Callier slammed a two-run homer in the bottom of the third inning Friday to give UMS-Wright a 3-0 cushion and the Bulldogs closed out the AHSAA Class 4A State Baseball Championship Series with a 4-1 win over Oneonta to claim the state title at Riverwalk Stadium.
     Coach Kevin Raley’s Bulldogs (33-9) won 9-3 on Thursday afternoon at Paterson Field and swept the series as Callier, named the Class 4A Series MVP, drove in the three runs and also robbed one Redskins hitter of a sure double with a diving catch that helped defuse one Oneonta rally.  He also had one hit and drove in another run in the first game to finish with four RBIs.
     Winning pitcher Garrett Hollinghead (7-4) needed just 81 pitches to hurl a complete-game four hitter in Friday’s final game. He walked none and struck out three.
     Peyton Martin also drove in Sam Plash for UMS-Wright’s other run.  Tanner Allen had a single and double and scored two runs. He also went 2-for-3 on Thursday to score two more runs as the Bulldogs’ leadoff hitter to finish 4-of-6 with four runs scored for the series.
     Oneonta (30-12), coached by Brandon Moore, got a solid pitching performance from Dawson Harvey (8-2). Harvey allowed just six hits over six innings, walked none and struck out two while throwing just 82 pitches.
     Brody Moore had two hits for the Redskins, Harvey had a single and scored his team’s only run in the top of the fourth inning, and Zach Dimmock had one hit and drove in his teammate with a sacrifice fly.
     The championship was the ninth overall for UMS-Wright and the first during Raley’s coaching tenure.
      Russellville (46-7) and Faith Academy (36-5) square off in game 2 of the Class 5A Championship Series at 4 p.m. at Riverwalk.
     The Class 7A Championship Series featuring Hewitt-Trussville (34-11) and Auburn (32-11) is set for game one at 4 p.m. Friday at Paterson Field. The first game of the Class 6A Championship Series between Cullman (40-11) and Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (37-10) will be at 7. The two series will move to Riverwalk Stadium Saturday with 7A at 10 a.m. and 6A at 4 p.m.
    All games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network.

Class 5A State Championship Series Class 5A: Game 1 Faith Academy 9, Russellville 1

     MONTGOMERY –  Senior pitcher William Freeman (12-1) fired a two-hitter Thursday night as Faith Academy of Mobile beat defending state champion Russellville 9-1 in the first game of the AHSAA Class 5A State Baseball Championship Series at Paterson Field.
     The two teams move to Riverwalk Stadium for game two Friday at 4 p.m. Game three, if needed in the best-of-three series, will following 30 minutes later at approximately 7 p.m.
      Freeman threw just 80 pitches with 10 strikeouts and one walk while facing just 24 batters. Russellville starting pitcher Cody Greenhill (13-3) socked a solo home run in the top of the third inning to cut the Rams’ lead to 5-1.  Coach Matt Seymour’s team jumped out early with three runs in the first, two in the second and another in the third to take control. Freeman’s pitching did the rest.
     Catcher Christian Waltman had two doubles and drove in four runs for Faith Academy (36-5).  Brooks Carlson, Jackson Bell and Ryan Bell added two hits each for the Rams from Mobile.
     Russellville (46-7), coached by Chris Heaps, left just two runners on base. Reed Smith had the only other hit for the Golden Tigers.
    UMS-Wright and Oneonta play game 2 of the Class 4A Championship Series at Riverwalk Stadium Friday morning at 10 a.m.  
     The Class 7A Championship Series featuring Hewitt-Trussville (34-11) and Auburn (32-11) is set for game one at 4 p.m. Friday at Paterson Field. The first game of the Class 6A Championship Series between Cullman (40-11) and Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (37-10) will be at 7. The two series will move to Riverwalk Stadium Saturday with 7A at 10 a.m. and 6A at 4 p.m.
    All games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network.

Class 3A State Championship Series Madison Academy Beats American Christian Twice to Claim Third Title in a Row

     MONTGOMERY –  Madison Academy (35-16) pounded 12 hits and beat American Christian 10-4 in game two of the best-of-three AHSAA Class 3A State Baseball Championship Series at Montgomery’s Riverwalk Stadium Thursday afternoon and followed with a 6-2 win in the nightcap to capture the Mustangs’ third straight state baseball championship.
      Junior Dylan Murphy (5-3) shut out The Patriots (32-7) on two hits over six innings and struck out four to get the deciding game win.   He earned MVP honors for the 3A Championship Series collecting one hit in each game Thursday and two in Wednesday’s 3-1 setback. He also got the final two outs in game one on the mound – preventing him from going the full seven Thursday night.
      Cody Littlejohn, who got the last two outs in the seventh notch the save, slugged three hits in game three with two triples including a lead-off three-bagger in the sixth inning that started a five-run rally.  He also socked a triple in game 2.
      Coach Mike Good’s Mustangs led 1-0 heading into the top of the sixth as Murphy and Patriots starter John Chaney Hajek hooked up in quite a pitchers’ duel. Hajek (4-2) scattered six hits, three runs and struck out four to get the loss.
      Carson Crowe had two hits, Britt Sparks slammed a seventh-inning double and Cole Fendley drove in a run as Coach Erik Smallwood’s Patriots rallied late to score two runs.
     For Good, the final game was his last as Madison Academy’s head coach and clinched the fourth state title for the Mustangs during his tenure. MA also won state titles in 2009, 2014 and 2015.
Madison Academy 10, American Christian 4
     Madison Academy forced a third game in the championship series winning 10-4 in game played at Riverwalk Stadium Thursday afternoon.
    Center fielder Jack Fulkerson had a single and double and drove in three runs for the Mustangs. Trey Owens also had two hits and two RBIs while teammates Will Acuff and Cody Littlejohn slugged triples.
     Sam King (10-3) started and pitched five innings to get the win. He allowed six hits and struck out three. Cade Morson hurled the final two innings.
     American Christian was led by lead-off hitter Grant Atkins’ three hits and two runs scored. He was 7-of-8 with five runs scored in the first two games. Deacon Medders also had three hits, including a triple, and drove in a run. Carson Crowe also slugged a solo home run. 
     UMS-Wright won over Oneonta 9-3 in the first game of the 4A Championship Series played at Paterson Field Thursday afternoon and defending 5A state champ Russellville (46-7) fell to Faith Academy (36-5)  9-1 in game one of the Class 5A State Championship series.
     UMS-Wright and Oneonta play game two of the 4A series at Riverwalk Stadium Friday at 10 a.m., with game three, if needed, starting 30 minutes later at approximately 1 p.m.   Russellville and Faith Academy play game 2 of the Class 5A series at Riverwalk Stadium at 4 p.m. Game three, if needed will follow at 7 p.m.
    The Class 7A Championship Series featuring Hewitt-Trussville (34-11) and Auburn (32-11) is set for game one at 4 p.m. Friday at Paterson Field. The first game of the Class 6A Championship Series between Cullman (40-11) and Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (37-10) will be at 7. The two series will move to Riverwalk Stadium Saturday with 7A at 10 a.m. and 6A at 4 p.m.
    All games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network.

Class 4A: Game 1 UMS-Wright 9, Oneonta 3

     MONTGOMERY –  Junior Conner Jednat (12-1) hurled a complete-game six-hitter to lift UMS-Wright past Oneonta 9-3 in the first game of the AHSAA Class 4A State Baseball Championship Series at Montgomery’s Paterson Field Thursday afternoon. The two teams will play Friday morning at 10 a.m., at Riverwalk Stadium in the second game of the series. A third game, if needed, will follow at approximately 1 p.m.
      Jednat did not allow an earned run and struck out four. Oneonta starting pitcher Trevor Smith (5-6) allowed seven hits and eight runs over five innings and struck for four to get the loss. 
      Tanner Allen had a double and single, scored two runs and had an RBI for the winning Bulldogs (32-9) of Coach Kevin Raley. Sam Plash also had two hits, Christian Cooper had two hits and Dalton Goff had two RBIs.
     Smith had one hit and an RBI for Oneonta (30-11), coached by Brandon Moore. Ko Powell and Kevin Crim each added a double.
      Defending 5A state champ Russellville (46-6) and Faith Academy (35-5) were playing in the 5A Series opener at 7.
    All games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network.


Class 3A: Game 2 Madison Academy 10, American Christian 4

     MONTGOMERY –  Madison Academy pounded 12 hits and beat American Christian 10-4 in game two of the best-of-three AHSAA Class 3A State Baseball Championship Series at Montgomery’s Riverwalk Stadium Thursday afternoon. The deciding third game of the 3A Championship Series got underway at 6:30 p.m., at Riverwalk Thursday night.
    Center fielder Jack Fulkerson had a single and double and drove in three runs for the Mustangs (34-16).  Trey Owens also had two hits and two RBIs while teammates Will Acuff and Cody Littlejohn slugged triples for Coach Mike Good’s two-time defending champs.
     Sam King (10-3) started and pitched five innings to get the win. He allowed six hits and struck out three. Cade Morson hurled the final two innings.
     American Christian, coached by Erik Smallwood, was led by lead-off hitter Grant Atkins’ three hits and two runs scored. He was 7-of-8 with five runs scored in the first two games. Deacon Medders also had three hits, including a triple, and drove in a run. Carson Crowe also slugged a solo home run. 
     UMS-Wright won over Oneonta 9-3 in the first game of the 4A Championship Series played at Paterson Field Thursday afternoon. Defending 5A state champ Russellville (46-6) and Faith Academy (35-5) were playing in the 5A Series opener at 7.
    All games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network.

Class 1A State Baseball Championship Series Decatur Heritage 9-3, J.U. Blacksher 8-2

     MONTGOMERY – Decatur Heritage clawed back from an 8-0 deficit in game 2 of the AHSAA Class 1A State Baseball Championship Series at Riverwalk Stadium Thursday to beat J.U. Blacksher 9-8 and then captured the school’s first state title winning game 3 of the series 3-2 in the best-of-three finals.
     Grayson Wakefield (11-3), who started game two for Coach Steve Meek’s Eagles (28-13) and didn’t get out of the first inning, regrouped in game three pitching six strong innings to get the championship game win.  He scattered four hits and struck out six while throwing just 72 pitches in his final appearance. 
     Class 1A State Championship Series MVP Parker Sparkman, who had an outstanding series defensively at third base and went 5-for-8 with three RBIs over the three games, relieved in the seventh but gave way to reliever Jeff Hunter after yielding a run and loading the bases with no outs. Hunter faced the minimum three batters to pitch out of the jam closing out the game to get the save.
     Sparkman had one hit and an RBI in game three.   Hunter, who manned shortstop when not pitching, had a double and single and scored two runs. Dakota Hunter also had a single and RBI for the Eagles.
     Tanner Weaver (3-2) pitched a complete game going six innings in the finale for J.U. Blacksher (26-13). He allowed six hits and struck out three. Lead-off hitter Cooper Dean, who was 5-for-9 in the series, and DH Seth Metheny each had a single and RBI for the Bulldogs.

GAME TWO: Decatur Heritage 9, J.U. Blacksher 8
     Coach Justin Mixon’s Bulldogs (26-12) posted eight runs in the top of the first inning but ran into trouble in the bottom of the third when the Eagles (27-13) loaded the bases with no outs. Before the inning was over, Coach Steve Meek’s team had posted seven runs.  Decatur Heritage took the lead with two runs in the fifth to force the final game.
      Wyatt Farrior had a double and single and two RBIs for the Eagles. Third baseman Parker Sparkman also hit a triple and single and made two outstanding defensive plays for Decatur Heritage. Starting pitcher Grayson Wakefield also had a double and two RBIs, and catcher Trace Lentz had a two-RBI single.
     J.U. Blacksher was led by Hunter Tuberville’s triple, single and three RBIs, Cooper Dean’s two hits and two RBIs, and Tanner Brooks’ single and two RBIs.
     Decatur Heritage’s Clay Shaw (7-5) hurled 6 2/3 innings in relief allowing no runs, four hits and striking out four to get the win. Dillan Baldwin (3-1) pitched the final 3 2/3 innings and got the loss. He allowed one earned run, three hits and struck out two.
     Madison Academy (33-15) and American Christian (31-5), which played the first game of the 3A Championship Series Wednesday night at Paterson Field, will play game 2 of that series at 4 p.m. Thursday at Riverwalk Stadium.

     The Class 4A and 5A series are set to play game 1 of each series at Paterson Field Thursday night. Class 4A Oneonta (30-10) meets UMS-Wright (31-9) at 4 p.m., followed by defending 5A state champ Russellville (46-6) and Faith Academy (35-5) at 7.
    All games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network.