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Class 7A Baseball Championship Series -- Game 2 Smiths Station Captures 7A State Championship with Sweep

     MONTGOMERY  -- Smiths Station (26-16-1) exploded for seven runs in the top of the sixth inning Saturday night en route to an 11-4 victory over Thompson in game two of AHSAA Class 7A state baseball championship series at Riverwalk Stadium as the Panthers won the first state championship in school history.
      Coach Mike Ferry’s Panthers beat Thompson in game one Saturday 3-2 to set up the sweep as the Class 7A series brought the 2015 state baseball championships to a close.
     Blake Rivera (7-5) pitched a complete game to get the second-game win. He scattered eight hits and struck out seven.  Thompson (31-18) starter Stephen Poplin (7-2) hurled five innings allowing nine hits and seven runs to get the loss.
      Shortstop Devin Brown was 3-for-4 with four RBIs. He had a triple in the seven-run sixth inning.  Number nine hitter Hunter Woodall delivered a bases-loaded triple in the top of the fourth inning as the Panthers scored four runs to take a 4-1 lead.  Dalton Sinquefield added two hits and two RBIs and Tim McGonegle also had two hits among the Panthers’ 13 total.
     Riley Reach and Lance Johnson each had two hits and an RBI for the Warriors of Coach Pat Hamrick. Jonathan Crawford and Zach Brammer also had a double each.

Class 7A Baseball Championship Series -- Game 1 Smiths Station 3, Thompson 2

     MONTGOMERY  -- Smiths Station (25-16-1) beat Thompson Saturday afternoon 3-2 in the first game of the AHSAA Class 7A state baseball championship series at Riverwalk Stadium.
     The series was scheduled to start Friday night but was postponed because of rain until Saturday at 4 p.m. Rains came in the top of the fourth inning Saturday with Smiths Station leading 3-0.
     After an hour delay, the game resumed with Thompson getting a run in the fourth and seventh innings before Panthers starting pitcher Max Newton (7-6) pitched out of the final inning jam.
     Newton walked only one and struck out four.
     Colin Lillie (8-1) also pitched a complete game to get the loss. The Warriors hurler allowed six hits and struck out five over six innings.
    Devin Brown had a double, single and RBI for Smiths Station. Caleb Lynn also had a single and RBI for Coach Mike Ferry’s Panthers. Dalton Sinquefield added two hits.
    Chris Lewis had two hits and an RBI and Zach Brammer tripled in a run for Coach Pat Hamrick’s Warriors (31-17).
     Game 2 was still underway Saturday night. Game 3 will be Monday at 7 p.m., if needed. All games are being live-streamed by the NFHS Network.

Class 6A State Baseball Championship Series: Game 3 Cullman Claims 6A Title With 3rd Game win

   MONTGOMERY –   Cullman High School downed Pelham 10-4 in game three of the AHSAA Class 6A state baseball championship series Saturday afternoon at Riverwalk Stadium to seal the Bearcats’ first state title since 2008.
      Pelham rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning in game two to win 3-2 to force the series’ third game.
      Cullman (45-10), coached by Brent Patterson, scored five runs in the first two innings and four in the sixth – totaling 13 hits for the game.  Sophomore third baseman Noah Fondren had a double and single and scored three runs to lead the strong offensive finish. He completed the series with six hits in 11 at bats with six runs scored to earn 6A MVP honors.
     Owen Lovell (5-0) pitched 6 1/3 innings allowing eight hits and striking out one to get the final game win.  He also had four hits and two RBIs. Kolby Robinson and Cole Collins also had two hits each with Collins driving in two runs.  Orvis Cuello had a double and three RBIs, and Sam Huser had a double and RBI.
     Carter Bowen hurled the final two outs to close the game for the Bearcats.
     Coach Sean Anderson’s Panthers (34-12) collected eight hits with Sam Finnerty  slugging a solo home run and Chase Martin collecting a triple and RBI. Hunter Stovall added a double. Starting pitcher Tyler Wilburn (8-1) got the loss. Hunter Orr hurled two scoreless innings to finish the game for Pelham.
      Cullman’s state title was the school’s fourth overall with other championships coming in 2002, 2007 and 2008. Pelham has two state crowns to its credit (2004 and 2013).


Class 5A Baseball Championship Series -- Game 2 Russellville Wins First State Title with 5-1 Win over Helena

     MONTGOMERY  -- Russellville High School captured the school’s first state baseball championship in school history Saturday morning beating Helena 4-1 in game two to complete the sweep in the AHSAA Class 5A state baseball championship series.
     The Golden Tigers (35-6) of Coach Chris Heap won game one Friday night at Riverwalk Stadium with a strong pitching effort. On Saturday at Paterson Field, winning hurler Jacob Green (12-0) turned in another stellar effort to get the win.
        Green threw only 92 pitches, allowing eight hits, one run and striking out eight.   Junior shortstop Reed Smith had three hits and two RBIs, driving in a run the second inning with a triple as Russellville took control with a 3-0 lead. Smith had two hits Friday to finish with five for the series.
     Landon Oliver, who also had five hits in the series, had two hits, and Austin Bohannon doubled and drove in one run.
     Helena (26-19), coached by P.J. Guy, was led by Brooks Brophy’s two hits and RBI. Sam Praytor also had two hits. Troy Cordrey (6-3) pitched a complete game scattering 11 hits and striking out three. He needed only 83 pitches.
     The series’ first game took only a hour and 20 minutes, and the second one was almost as fast going 1:49.
     The appearance in the state finals for the Huskies comes in the newest Shelby County high school’s year of existence. The team has no seniors.

Class 6A State Baseball Championship Series: Game 2 Pelham Rallies in 7th to Force Game 3

   MONTGOMERY – Pelham rallied from a 2-1 deficit in the bottom of the seventh inning Saturday morning at Riverwalk Stadium to nip Cullman 3-2 in game two of the AHSAA Class 6A state baseball championship series to force game 3.
     The third game got underway at 1:40 p.m. Saturday afternoon.
      Cullman led 2-0 after 2 ½ innings on RBIs by Owen Lovell and Orvis Cuello. Pelham’s Hunter Stovall put the Panthers of Coach Sean Anderson on the board with a towering solo home run in the bottom of the third off starting Bearcats pitcher Jacob Heatherly.
     That’s how it stayed until the seventh when Casey Aldah got n base with a single and scored on Justin Anderson’s sacrifice fly.   Tyler White scored the winning run when reliever Carter Bowen’s third-strike pitch to Logan Brashier got by the catcher allowing White to score the winning run.
       Cullman (44-10), coached by Brent Patterson, managed five hits off winning Panthers hurler Connor Radcliff (11-1). Kolby Robinson had two hits.   Radcliff struck out three.   Heatherly (4-2) went 6 1/3 innings, allowed four hits and struck out five to get the loss.

Class 6A State Baseball Championship Series: Game Cullman Nips Pelham 5-4 to Win Series Opener

   MONTGOMERY – Cullman (44-9) downed Pelham 5-4 Friday night at Paterson Field in game one of the AHSAA state baseball championship series. The best-of-three series concludes Saturday at Riverwalk Stadium as the Bearcats and Panthers play game two at 10 a.m. Game three, if needed, will follow approximately at 1 p.m.
      Cullman senior starter Jesse Scott (14-1) tossed a five-hitter to get the complete-game win. He had two-hitter and 5-1 lead heading into the seventh before Pelham (33-11) rallied to score three runs off three hits. Sam Finnerty (10-2), the losing pitcher, stroked a two-RBI single to pull the game to within one run before Scott got the last out on a fly out to right.
     Finnerty also pitched well. He yielded nine hits but only allowed two earned runs while striking out five.   Scott struck out eight.
     Coach Brent Patterson’s lead-off hitter Noah Fondren had three this and scored twice to pace the Bearcats. Orvis Cuello added a double and single and RBI and Sam Huser had two hits.
      Hunter Stovall added an RBI single for Pelham, coached by Sean Anderson, and Hunter Orr had a double to score one run.
      The Class 7A series set to open Friday night at Patterson Field, will feature games one and two at Riverwalk Stadium at 4 and 7 p.m., following the 6A series Saturday. Thompson meets Smiths Station in the 7A finals.
     All games will be live-streamed by the NFHS Network.


Class 5A Baseball Championship Series -- Game 1 Russellville Edges Helena 3-2 As 5A Series Gets Underway

   MONTGOMERY  -- Russellville High School nipped Helena 3-2 Friday night at Riverwalk Stadium to take game one of the AHSAA Class 5A baseball championship series.
   The two teams will play game two of the best-of-three series Saturday morning at Paterson Field at 10 a.m. The third game, if needed, will follow 30 minutes later at approximately 1 p.m.
    The two teams were scheduled to start the series Thursday night but rain pushed back the start until 4 p.m., Friday. More rain pushed the game back to 6:25 p.m.
     Russellville pitcher Cody Greenhill (7-1) threw just 76 pitches in notching the win in a game that took only one hour and 20 minutes to complete. Chris Heaps’ Golden Tigers (34-6) scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the fifth to break open a 1-1 game.
     Coach Helena hurler Riley Davis (2-5) needed only 70 pitches in his six inning of work. Davis allowed seven hits, one earned run and struck out one for Coach P.J. Guy’s Huskies (26-18).
     Landon Oliver collected three of the Golden Tigers’ hits and scored two runs.  Skyler Stephens had a single and RBI and Reed Smith had two hits.
     Helena, the newest high school in Shelby County – opening its doors last August –  was led by shortstop Jake Busby’s double and single. Troy Cordrey had one hit and an RBI.
 All AHSAA baseball championship series games are being live-streamed by the NFHS Network. Details on the broadcast can be found at www.ahsaa.com.

Class 3A Baseball Championship Series -- Game2 and 3 Madison Academy Beats Geneva Twice to Claim State Title

MONTGOMERY  -- Defending state champion Madison Academy rebounded from Thursday night’s first-game loss to beat Geneva 7-2 and 14-2 Friday to capture the AHSAA Class 3A state baseball championship at Riverwalk Stadium.
    Jake Christa (9-2) tossed a four-hitter and struck out six in Friday’s opener to get the win for the Mustangs (29-13).  Third baseman Cody Littlejohn gave him plenty of support at the plate going 3-for-3 with three runs scored and two RBIs. 
    Littlejohn, named the Class 3A state baseball championship series MVP, stroked a triple, walked twice, scored three runs and drove in two runs in the final game as Coach Mike Good’s team closed out the series the 14-2 win.
     Lucas Mordecai (5-4) pitched the five-inning win allowing five hits and striking out one.  Taylor Clemons and Emerson Brooks each had two hits with Clemons collecting a triple driving in four runs.
     In the first game Friday, Geneva starter and loser Jay Stough ran into control problems early walking three in the first inning. Kade McLaney came in to relieve the Panthers hurler and pitch 4 2/3 solid innings striking out three.
    Stough (10-2) started  the final game and continued to have control problems walking two and hitting one as Madison Academy posted six first-inning runs.
    The Panthers (26-11) of Coach Brent Justice were making their first appearance in the state baseball championship finals series.  Madison Academy’s state crown was the school’s third and gave the Mustangs their third boys’ state title of the 2014-15 school year with football last December and basketball in February.

Class 3A Baseball Championship Series -- Game 1 Geneva Beats Madison Academy 5-2

   MONTGOMERY  -- Geneva High School scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning Thursday afternoon to break open a 1-0 game as the Panthers beat defending Class 3A state champion Madison Academy 5-2 in game one of the AHSAA Class 3A state baseball championship series.
    Lead-off hitter Ethan Walker had two hits, scored one run and drove in another and third baseman Cole Worthy had one hit, walked once and scored two runs for Geneva (26-9). Catcher Colby Farris also doubled in one run.
   Coach Brent Justice’s Panthers also got a complete-game effort from winning pitcher Jamison Roney (5-1). The senior allowed five hits over seven innings, one earned run and struck out six.
      Madison Academy (27-13) scored one run in the top of the sixth and seventh innings.  Senior pitcher Taylor Clemons (7-1) pitched six innings, allowed seven hits and struck out five to get the loss.
      The two teams play game two of the best-of-three series at Riverwalk Stadium Friday morning at 10 a.m. The third game, if needed, will follow at approximately 1 p.m.
     The first game of the Class 5A state baseball championship series featuring Helena and Russellville was rained out Thursday night at Paterson Field. The first game is now scheduled to be played at Riverwalk Stadium starting at 4 p.m. with game one. Game two of the series will follow at 7 p.m. Game three, if needed, will has been scheduled for Paterson Field Saturday morning at 10 a.m.
     All baseball series games are being live-streamed by the NFHS Network. Details on the broadcast can be found at www.ahsaa.com.

Class 4A Baseball Championship Series -- Game 2 Trinity Presbyterian Sweeps To Title with 8-5 Win over Brooks

MONTGOMERY  -- Trinity Presbyterian High School pounded 13 hits and scored seven runs early as the Wildcats beat Brooks 8-5 to claim the 2015 AHSAA Class 4A state baseball championship at Riverwalk Stadium Thursday night.
      Junior Robert Adams, who pitched the 3-2 win in game one Wednesday night, was 3-for-3 Thursday to finish the series a perfect 7-for-7 in the two wins to earn Class 4A championship series MVP.
    The state title was the first in Class 4A for Coach Ken Whittle’s Wildcats (31-9-1), who have now won six state championships – at least one in each of five decades starting with the Class 1A title in 1985.  Trinity also became the first school in AHSAA baseball playoff history to win state crowns in four different classifications (1A, 2A, 3A and 4A).  The Wildcats have won three state championships in the last four seasons.
     Thursday’s championship did not come easily, however. Brooks (34-14), making its third championship appearance since 2011, took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning and clawed back into the game with two runs in the fourth and one in the fifth thanks to some clutch hitting by designated hitter Matthew Moore. He had a double and single and three RBIs. Riley Phillips also had a single, scored a run and had an RBI, and Tanner Graham had one hit and two runs scored for Coach Todd Nelms’ Lions.
     Trinity pounded 13 hits, including three doubles and a triple, but left 10 runners on base.  Dalton Hill had two hits and two RBIs, Trace Johnston slugged a double and triple and collected two RBIs, and Charlie Leisy had a double, a single and three RBIs. Mitchell Sellers had two hits.
    Whittle had go into his bullpen using three pitchers to seal the win. Starter Connor Franklin (4-1) tossed 4 1/3 innings allowing five hits and all five runs – two unearned. He struck out two. Dalton Hill pitched 1 2/3 innings in middle relief facing the minimum five batters. Leisy pitched the final inning to get the save.
     Brooks used four pitchers with starter Dustin Henson (8-2) getting the loss.
     Championship action returns to Riverwalk Stadium Friday morning at 10 a.m. with Geneva facing Madison Academy in game two of the Class 3A state championship series at 10 a.m. If needed, game three will be follow immediately at approximately 1 p.m.
       The Class 5A best-of-three series featuring Helena and Russellville continues at 4 p.m. Friday a Riverwalk Stadium. At Paterson Field Friday, Pelham takes on Cullman at 4 p.m. in the first game of the Class 6A state championship series, and Thompson faces Smiths Station in the first game of the 7A championship series at 7 p.m.
    The 6A and 7A series will conclude Saturday at Riverwalk Stadium with 6A getting underway at 10 a.m., and 7A at 4 p.m.
       All games at Paterson Field and Riverwalk Stadium Friday will live-streamed over the NFHS Network.