Rebs advance after eighth-inning blunders

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 4, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

LOWNDESBORO &045; Twenty-one outs were not enough for the Crenshaw Christian Cougars and the Lowndes Academy Rebels on Thursday afternoon.

With the regional playoff split at 1-1, the Rebels capitalized on a pair of eighth-inning blunders to earn a berth into the AISA Final Four State Championships at Bloch Park.

The Rebels were able to notch an 8-7 victory after eight innings of work.

With two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, Eric St. Cin was issued a free pass after being beaned. On the first pitch to Drew Harrell, St. Cin took off towards second.

The throw from catcher Andrew Armour sailed into the outfield.

St. Cin never broke stride and took off for third. The throw from Sloan Carter bounced out of the reach of Mike McDonald and up the hill and into the Lowndes Academy faithful, allowing St. Cin to get up and sprint to the plate sliding head first to secure the narrow, 8-7 victory.

The victory for the 18-20 Rebels provides them with their second straight berth into the Final Four.

A year ago, they fell in two games to Shelby Academy in the state championship match-up.

On Wednesday, the Rebels split with the Cougars, falling in game one and then winning Game No. 2,

3-0.

Thursday, Crenshaw swung the momentum their way from the first pitch. Jared Hughes batted leadoff and deposited a Kyle Miller fastball in the trees on the other side of the outfield fence.

Two innings later, CCA added another pair of runs to push ahead 3-0.

Lowndes answered to tie the game at 3-3 after four innings.

Adam Sawicki put the Rebels on top, driving a double into the deepest part of the ballpark to score Robin Hagood from second.

Crenshaw tied the game at 4-4 and then pushed ahead 7-4 courtesy of three-run blast by Andrew Powell.

Going into the bottom of the seventh, the Rebels had their backs against the wall. Harrell and Jon Kreder had reached base safely.

But, the next two batters were retired by a fly out to centerfield and then a strikeout.

Trent Pate ripped a single to clear the bases and cut the lead to a run.

Pate then came around to score on an error by the catcher to secure extra innings for the Rebels, en route to the 8-7, extra inning victory.

The Rebs, who according to coach John Glueschick, give all their glory to God, will be in action on Tuesday in the state tournament’s opening day.