Warriors take Senators

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

Seven innings stood between Morgan Academy and a trip to the round of four in the AISA state baseball playoffs.

Make that seven innings and the No. 2 team in the state.

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Cottage Hill outscored the Senators 22-2 in the final two games of the best-of-three series, including Saturday’s 11-1 win in the rubber match, to advance in the first round.

“When it comes to playoff time, it comes down to who can pitch,” Morgan coach Rob Robinson said. “That’s been our problem all year, we’re low in numbers. That’s a pretty good ball team over there. They beat us pretty good these last two games, but we beat them once.”

Morgan won the series opener 7-5 on Friday afternoon, but errors and quiet bats hurt them in the nightcap.

Side-arming right-hander Mike Mason threw a complete game in the clincher for the Warriors, the second time in 18 hours the Warriors got a full game from their starting pitcher. Friday night, Jeffrey McDole struck out seven and also held Morgan to a run to even the series 1-1.

Morgan’s only run Saturday came in the sixth inning on Jay Gilmer’s RBI single, making it a 5-1 game with two outs.

The Warriors controlled things the rest of the time. Their breakout inning was in the seventh when they scored six runs.

Reliever Brad Averitt, who got himself out of a jam in the sixth, didn’t stay long enough to record an out in the final frame.

The first two runs came when Michael Howell scored on an error at third and an RBI single by Matt Gattis.

Forrest Hughes took the mound for Morgan and walked Robbie Brillhart to load the bases. Barrett Negus and Travis Bowen both followed with two-run hits.

Cottage Hill coach Chris Brazell, who has won 101 games in four years with the team, wasn’t completely thrilled with the offensive production.

“We left over 30 guys on base during this series,” Brazell said. “But when you score 27 runs in three games, that should be enough. Our pitching has been our strong point all season.”

Reliever Heath Harrelson did some damage control after hitting three batters and walking the bases loaded in the fifth. He struck out Brillhart with the bags full to hold Cottage Hill’s lead to 5-0. Daniel Lee gave up four runs over three innings in the loss.