Devils split first two games of third-round playoff series

Published 10:53 pm Friday, May 2, 2014

Maplesville's Damian Mitchell scores a run during Friday's best-of-three third-round playoff series against St. Luke's.

Maplesville’s Damian Mitchell scores a run during Friday’s best-of-three third-round playoff series against St. Luke’s.

By Brandon Sumrall | Special to the Advertiser

It all comes down to one game.

Having split two games on Friday afternoon (a 9-6 win and a 7-2 loss) in a best-of-three series with the top-ranked team in Class 1A, St. Luke’s, Maplesville’s varsity baseball team faces a must-win Game 3 Saturday at 11:30 a.m. if they hope to continue chasing their championship dreams.

The host Red Devils struck first in Game 1 when Damian Mitchell led off with a single to left field that led to a run-scoring single for Colby Chambers.

Brett Walker knocked in Brandon Abbott to give Maplesville an early 2-0 lead.

A bases loaded double off the right field wall by Brandon Abbott scored two more Red Devils in the bottom of the second.

A second RBI by Chambers and an Abbott score on a passed ball gave the Red Devils a 6-0 lead.

Both teams went through the third inning scoreless.

The Wildcats’ bats came to life in the top half of the fourth inning with five runs in the inning to cut the Maplesville lead to a single run.

Mitchell singled up the middle to score Zach Bush, and an Abbott single to right-center field scored Mitchell and Wallace to add three more runs for the Red Devils.

Heading to the sixth inning, the Red Devils led 9-5.

With both teams going quietly through the sixth inning, a Leighton Larry solo home run for the Wildcats accounted for all the scoring in the seventh as the Red Devils won Game 1, 9-6.

Chambers pitched a complete game for the Red Devils with six earned runs on nine hits and two walks while striking out two.

Abbott went 3-for-4 with two doubles, and four RBI at the plate for Maplesville.

Brandon Cook got the start for St. Luke’s and pitched two innings while allowing three earned runs on seven hits.

Luke Phillips went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI for the Wildcats.

The Wildcats were the first to strike in Game 2, with a one-run bottom of the first inning on an RBI single by Cook.

Maplesville answered with a run of its own in the top of the second inning on an RBI single by Walker that scored Chambers, who reached on a double to left center.

A scoreless bottom half of the second left the score tied at 1-all.

An Andrew Dismukes single scored Phillips, and a Daniel Haskell single to center field scored Jeremiah Jackson and Dismukes to give St Lukes a 4-1 lead.

The Wildcats added two more runs in the bottom half of the fifth inning to extend their lead to 6-1.

After picking up two quick outs in the top half of the sixth inning, a single, error and a walk loaded the bases for Maplesville.

A hit batter yielded one run for the Red Devils, but a strike out of the next Maplesville batter stranded three runners and left the deficit at five runs.

The Wildcats matched with a run of their own in the bottom half of the sixth inning to put the Red Devils down by six runs again–and down to their final three outs.

One strike out and two fly balls by the Red Devils in the top of the seventh, and the Wildcats had evened the series at one each.

Wallace got the start for Maplesville and pitched four innings while allowing four earned runs on six hits and one walk.

Smitherman led at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a single and a double.

Larry threw a complete game for the Wildcats with one earned run on four hits and three walks while striking out seven. Phillips went 2-for-4 with two doubles for St James at the plate.