Rested MHS Red Devils advanceBy Stephen Dawkins Published 8:22pm Friday, April 27, 2012
Rest proved more valuable than momentum Friday in Maplesville.
The MHS baseball team defeated Verbena twice, 9-5 and 8-5, to advance to the third round of the Class 1A playoffs.
Maplesville (15-13) received a rare bye in the first round, meaning the Red Devils got a break from play but also missed out on adjusting to the playoff format and staying in a groove—as Verbena did in big wins at Loachapoka last week.
Host Maplesville came out hot instead of rusty, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning of Game 1, one run in the third, four in the fourth, one in the fifth and one in the sixth.
Verbena, meanwhile, scored one run in the top of the first but couldn’t get to starting pitcher Colby Chambers again until the fifth, when the visiting Red Devils got back in the game with four runs.
Jared White pitched the seventh inning to end any VHS threat.
Trent Smitherman went 4-for-4 at the plate in the game with a single, a double and a triple. He was a home run shy of hitting for the cycle.
Smitherman also scored three runs and drove in four runs.
Brandon Abbott, Colby Chambers and Aron Smitherman all had multiple hits in the game.
Chambers was the winning pitcher. He allowed seven hits and one walk in six innings pitched while striking out 10 batters.
Jared White pitched the final inning and earned the save.
Trent Smitherman was dangerous at the plate again in the second game, going 4-for-4 with one run scored and three RBI.
Aron Smitherman, Maplesville’s ace, started on the mound in the second game—and struck out eight batters—but was replaced by Trevor Wallace to start the bottom of the fifth inning.
Wallace was able to protect his team’s 7-4 lead, allowing one run on three hits and one walk in three innings while striking out five batters to earn the win.
Verbena led 2-1 after one inning and extended its lead to 4-1 after the third inning, but Maplesville struck for five runs in the fifth.
Abbott and Wallace each went 2-for-4 and scored a run.
MHS recorded 27 hits on the day, 14 in the first game and 13 in the second game.
Verbena’s Jeremy Creger went 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI.
Maplesville will host Fayetteville in the third round of the state playoffs. Game times have been set for 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. on April 4, with a third game at noon on April 5 if necessary.