Maplesville’s season ends with Game 3 loss to St. Luke’sBy Staff Reports Published 6:36pm Saturday, May 3, 2014
By Brandon Sumrall | Special to the Advertiser
Having split the first two games of a best-of-three series on Friday, Maplesville’s varsity baseball team faced a must-win game against visiting St. Luke’s on Saturday in the third round of the Class 1A state playoffs.
Despite jumping on the top-ranked Wildcats (30-5 overall, 5-1 area) early, a five-run top of the sixth inning was more than the Red Devils could overcome in an 11-5 loss that brings Maplesville’s season to a close.
The Devils (21-6, 7-2) struck first in the bottom half of the first inning on a Trent Smitherman single that scored Brandon Abbott and Colby Chambers to give Maplesville an early 2-0 lead.
With pitcher Zach Bush and the Red Devil defense retiring the Wildcats in order in the top of the second inning, MHS added one more run in the bottom half of the second inning on a RBI single by Damian Mitchell that scored Bush.
An error, walk and a hit batter loaded the bases for the Wildcats with no outs in the top half of the third inning.
Sacrifice flies by Jeremiah Jackson and Brandon Cook gave St. Luke’s its first two runs of the game, and then a Daniel Haskell double to deep center field plated two more and gave the Wildcats a 4-3 lead.
Maplesville tied the game in the bottom half of the fourth inning when Mitchell scored Nathan Bush with an infield single.
Another sacrifice fly, this time by Andrew Dismukes, scored Luke Phillips and once again gave the Wildcats the lead, 5-4.
The Red Devils tied the game once again in the bottom half of the fifth inning on a Smitherman bomb over the left field wall.
It all came unraveled for Maplesville in the top half of the sixth inning.
With the leadoff batter on base via a pitch to the back, a double to left center field scored Lieghton Larry. Austin Davis followed with an RBI double to the right-center field wall, and Andrew Dismukes and Brandon Cook added four more with back-to-back doubles that scored two runs each.
The Red Devils went down quietly through the bottom half of the sixth inning and allowed one more Wildcats run in the top of the seventh inning when Larry crossed home plate on a wild pitch.
Maplesville went into the bottom of the seventh and final inning facing a six-run deficit.
Abbott got things started with a leadoff single, but three consecutive ground balls to the left side of the infield resulted in three straight outs and the end of the game.
Zach Bush pitched a complete game for Maplesville, allowing five earned runs on six hits and four walks while striking out six.
Smitherman led the Red Devils at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI.
Phillips got the start for St Lukes and pitched 4 2/3 innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits and three walks while striking out three.
Haskell led the Wildcats at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI.