Bears advance with doubleheader sweep at VerbenaBy Staff Reports Published 10:23am Monday, April 21, 2014
By Brandon Sumrall | Special to the Advertiser
Round 1 of the high school baseball state playoffs got underway on Saturday as Billingsley took to the road to knock off Verbena in two games, 12-8 and 11-4, to take the best-of-three series.
The Bears will travel to Maplesville for a second-round doubleheader on Friday, with Game 3 to be played April 26 if necessary.
In the first game Saturday, Thomas Nichols started the game off with a triple to left-center field to set up a Dalton Davis run-scoring single.
Tyler Powell drove in Davis with a single up the middle, and Mason Friday later scored on a passed ball to give the Bears (17-9 overall, 4-2 area) a three-run lead.
A Jared Mims sacrifice fly to center field scored Christian Agee for Verbena and cut the Bears’ lead to two runs, 3-1, in the bottom half of the inning.
Dylan Chavers added two more runs for Billingsley in the top of the third inning with a single past third base that scored Kendall Elrod and Garrett Harrell.
Mims struck again for Verbena in the bottom half of the third with a solo home run over the left field fence that would made the score 5-2 after three innings.
Hunter Sanders drove in Elrod and Harrell on a ground ball to the left side, and a Jarrett Acreman double to center field scored Chavers to make the score 8-2 in the top of the fifth.
Billingsley added four more runs in the top of the sixth inning.
With the bases loaded and one out, a Sanders single to left field scored Friday and Powell. A single by Nichols to right-center field scored Sanders and gave the Bears a 12-2 lead going to the bottom of the sixth.
The Red Devils rallied in the bottom of the sixth inning, picking up six runs in the home half of the inning.
Adam Heflin started things off by reaching on a ground ball error to the right side and was driven in on a William Cook double to right center field.
A walk to Dillion Walker and then four straight hit Red Devil batters led to three more Verbena runs.
Mims added two more runs with a ground ball to the left side that cut the Bears’ lead to four.
After forcing the Bears to go quietly trough the top of the seventh inning, the first two Red Devils batters reached based safely to start the bottom half of the inning.
With Jacob Wilson and Cook on with a single, the Bears defense would retired the next three batters to bring game one to its final, 12-8.
Nichols pitched five innings for Billingsley while allowing two earned runs on four hits and one walk while striking out eight.
Sanders went 3-for-5 with three singles and five RBI for the Bears.
Eric Mims got the start for Verbena on the mound and pitched five innings, allowing nine earned runs on 11 hits and two walks while striking out two.
Jared Mims led the Red Devils at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a home run and four RBI.
Davis went 3-for-3 in Game 2 in support of Friday, who allowed four runs in six innings pitched.