Keith and Dallas County take early exits in first round, Morgan advances

Published 11:02 pm Friday, April 20, 2018

The Keith High School Bears baseball team was swept in two games Friday afternoon by the Goshen Eagles in the first-round of the AHSAA Class 2A playoffs.

The Eagles defeated the Bears 11-4 in game one.

The Bears fell behind early in game one allowing five runs in the first inning. After thwarting the Eagles leadoff bunt attempt for the first out, Keith starting pitcher Kaymon McGuire hit two batters and walked two more after giving up a double.

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“You can’t start down 5-0,” Keith head coach Anthony Lumpkin said. “You give up five runs to a team that can really put the ball in play, and think you’re going to come back? It’s not going to happen.”

McGuire only allowed two-hits in the first inning, but the early trouble was too much for the Bears to come back from.

“Justin did a great job coming in and slowing the bleeding down,” Lumpkin said. “We didn’t help him out the way we should have.”

Lumpkin handed the ball to his reliever Justin McGuire, who was able to slow the Eagles down.

Unfortunately, errors helped Goshen push across some insurance runs to stay well ahead of the Bears.

The Bears had to manufacture runs during the few opportunities they had. Justin McGuire hit into a fielder’s choice that brought in Tyrone Lumpkin to get Keith on the scoreboard in the first. Denzell Benjamin singled in the third to drive in Lumpkin again for the second run of the game.

Benjamin was a perfect 4 for 4 at the plate with two runs scored in game one. His aggressiveness on the base paths allowed him to get in scoring position when the Bears desperately needed it in the later innings.

“I was just focused and trying to get my team to the second round of the playoffs,” Benjamin said.

He picked up Keith’s third run of the game by taking home on a late pickoff play by Goshen.  The Eagles catcher throw down to second base was cut off by their shortstop, but Benjamin broke for home anyway and beat the throw without a slide.

The Bears season and playoff run ended after the 12-2 loss in game two.

Keith finished the season with a 7-7 record, and went undefeated against area opponents during the regular season (4-0).

“Overall, we met our goals,” Lumpkin said. “We wanted to win the area, and we did that. We would have liked to have done more. We have seven seniors who helped this program get to where it is today. My hat is off to them. I’m just disappointed that we couldn’t do more for them, as far as advancing in the playoffs.”


Dallas County was swept in the first round of the AHSAA Class 5A playoffs Friday evening in Calera. Calera won game one 10-0, and they took game two 15-0. Dallas County has been eliminated from the playoffs.

“We had a good year,” Dallas County head coach Mark Rouleau said. “We made it to the playoffs and we just got outplayed up there in Calera. They are a tremendous team. They’re No. 6 in the state, so we knew we had an uphill battle. Other than that, we had a good group of kids and Dallas County will be well represented next year.”

Morgan Academy defeated Lakeside Academy in the first round of the AISA playoffs Friday afternoon for the second year in a row. The sweep allows them to advance to the second round without having to play the if necessary game three Saturday.

Morgan Academy won the first game 7-4, and they won the second game 6-4.

“I thought it was a very good effort as a team as a whole,” Morgan head coach Seth Currie said. “I expect us to continue to do our jobs, and move on in the playoffs.”

Morgan Academy will travel to Glenwood Academy on Thursday, April 26 for the second round.

“I think both sides are going to come into it playing very good baseball, and the winner of that game could very well end up the state champions,” Currie said.