MHS baseball advances to semis

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 30, 2006

James Gilmore

The Selma Times-Journal

MAPLESVILLE – Down 2-0 going into the bottom of the third inning, the Maplesville Red Devils took advantage of two Sweet Water errors to go up by one and hold on to eventually win 7-3.

“It was a team effort,” said Red Devil assistant coach Tommy Headley. “And though we were down a couple of runs, the kids didn’t quit.”

Senior pitcher Hunter Brown pitched all seven innings, struck out 11 Bulldog batters – at least one in each inning – and walked just two batters. One was intentional.

The win puts Maplesville in the state quarterfinals, and the team will play host to a series against No. 1 ranked American Christian Academy starting Friday.

The Red Devils got on the board in the third on a Nick Andrews RBI double after a Kenny Lenoir walk. Andrews moved to third on a groundout and scored on a flyout after the ball got by the Sweet Water catcher.

Brett Arnold scored on an error at second base, giving Maplesville a 3-2 lead.

Maplesville added two more runs in the fourth on three straight singles with Andrews getting his second RBI of the game. The other run crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly from Josh Smith.

The Bulldogs put the tying run on base in the fifth when they loaded them up with one out. They managed only one run as Brown got the final two outs with strikeouts.

Maplesville added two insurance runs in the sixth when Smith blasted a two-run homer over the left field fence, his second of the series.

Brown closed the game by striking out five of the last nine batters he faced. “I started to get a better feel of my breaking pitch the last few innings,” said Brown, “I was able to get it over when I needed to.”