Verbena bests county’s other set of Red Devils in first round

Published 5:50 pm Monday, April 20, 2015

Verbena's Taylor Deavers (right) tags out Maplesville's Thomas Schoener at home plate on Saturday in a first-round baseball playoff game.

Verbena’s Taylor Deavers (right) tags out Maplesville’s Thomas Schoener at home plate on Saturday in a first-round baseball playoff game.

By Brandon Sumrall | Special to the Advertiser

Verbena got the better of a battle between two sets of Red Devils on Saturday, defeating Maplesville 6-0 and 8-5 to win a best-of-three baseball playoff series and advance to the second round.

Verbena (16-2) struck first in Game 1 by picking up three runs in the home half of the first inning. Quandarius Ray led off with a walk, and with Christian Agee reaching on a Maplesville error, Verbena had two on with one out.

Garret Deavers scored Ray with a single, Adam Heflin scored Agee with a bunt, and a Dillion Walker single scored Deavers.

Garret Deavers rounds third base after hitting a home run.

Garret Deavers rounds third base after hitting a home run.

With the Verbena defense retiring Maplesville in order through four innings, Verbena added one more run in the bottom half of the fourth when a leadoff triple by Tristan Short later led to Short scoring on a passed ball at the plate.

Devan Wallace led off the fifth with a single to left for Maplesville, and a walk to Nathan Bush gave Maplesville two on with one out, but back-to-back ground balls to Eric Mims were hauled in and relayed to first to bring the scoring threat to an end.

A leadoff home run by Deavers, way over the left field fence, gave Verbena a five-run lead after five innings of play.

With Maplesville once again going in order through the top of the sixth inning, an RBI single by Agee scored Short to make the score 6-0 going to the final inning of play.

Another three-up and three-down inning by the Verbena defense brought the game to a close and give the homestanding Red Devils a 1-0 lead in the series.

Deavers led Verbena at the plate in Game 1 with a 2-for-3 performance with a home run and two RBI.

Agee pitched a complete game shutout, striking out five while allowing three hits and one walk.

Wallace led Maplesville with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate.

Trevor Wallace pitched five innings, striking out nine while allowing three earned runs on six hits and two walks.

After two quick outs to start Game 2, Taylor Deavers reach base after being hit by a pitch, and with brother Garret Deavers’ single to center to score Taylor Deaver, Verbena had an early 1-0 lead.

Maplesville got the bats going early in Game 2, answering with a run of their own in the bottom half of the first inning on a RBI single by Devan Wallace to score Thomas Schoener, who reached on a single.

After one inning of play, the game was tied at 1-all.

With Alex Smith retiring Verbena in order in the top of the second, all via strikeout, Maplesville picked up one more run in the bottom half of the inning on a single by Schoener that scored Bush.

Verbena answered in the top of the third inning when Ray and Agee reached base to set up a two-run double by Heflin to put Verbena in the lead, 3-2.

The score remained unchanged until the bottom half of the fifth inning, when Maplesville reeled off three more runs.

Smith started off the inning with a single to the right side, and a Devan Wallace double up the middle led to a Trevor Wallace RBI single.

With two on and one out, an Aaron Dunkin double to left field scored both Wallaces and gave Maplesville a 5-3 lead.

The lead was short-lived, however, as Verbena answered with five runs of their own in the top half of the sixth inning.

Walks to Bryan Rasberry and Agee, along with a single by Ray, loaded the bases for Verbena with one out.

Doubles by Taylor Deavers and Heflin accounted for four runs, and with Rasberry touching home on a wild pitch, Verbena took an 8-5 lead.

One single for Maplesville through the next two innings did little to help cut into the deficit as Verbena picked up the win and advanced to Round 2, where they will await the winner of the Loachapoka-Billingsley series, which was scheduled to begin Monday.

Heflin led Verbena at the plate in Game 2 by going 2-for-4 with two doubles and four RBI.

Taylor Deavers got the start on the mound and pitched four innings, allowing five earned runs on 10 hits.

Dunkin led Maplesville with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate with a double and two RBI.

Smith pitched 6 2/3 innings, striking out seven while allowing six earned runs on nine hits and six walks.