Maplesville sweeps Billingsley, claims area

Published 6:32 pm Friday, April 8, 2016

Trevor Wallace of Maplesville is met at home plate following his third home run of the season in Game 1 of a doubleheader Thursday against Billingsley. (Photo by Brandon Sumrall / Special)

Trevor Wallace of Maplesville is met at home plate following his third home run of the season in Game 1 of a doubleheader Thursday against Billingsley. (Photo by Brandon Sumrall / Special)

By Brandon Sumrall | Special to the Advertiser

With two wins, 4-3 and 14-2, over Billingsley on Thursday, the Maplesville varsity baseball team clinched home field for the opening round of the Class 1A Playoffs.

After two scoreless innings to start Game 1, the Bears were the first to get on the board in the top half of the third.

Larry Starks was aboard after a Red Devils error, and Eric Willis reached on a single. Austin Harrell followed it up with a two-run single that gave Billingsley an early 2-0 lead.

A double with one out by Drew Smith did little to help the Maplesville cause, and a three-up, three-down inning by Billingsley in the top of the fourth kept the score 2-0.

Trevor Wallace put the Red Devils on the board in the home half of the fourth by blasting his third home run of the season off a light pole in centerfield to cut the Bears’ lead to one.

Another scoreless inning by Billingsley allowed the Red Devils to take their first lead of the game in the home half of the fifth.

A leadoff single by John Schoener set up a RBI triple from Smith, and a Bears error on a ground ball off the bat of Devan Wallace allowed Smith to score.

Wallace later scored on another error by the Bears to give Maplesville a 4-2 lead.

The Bears pulled to within one in the top half of the sixth when a two-out single by Jordan Thompson led to a RBI single by Drayton Dubose.

With Maplesville going quietly in the bottom half of the sixth, the Bears were down to their final three outs and in desperate need of a run.

A leadoff bunt by Starks put the tying run on first for Billingsley, and a sacrifice bunt by Willis moved that run over to second.

A wild pitch moved Starks over to third with only one out, and a ground ball out by Austin Harrell plated Starks.

However, an interference call on Harrell resulted in the game’s final out and negated the run.

The Red Devils clinched the area title with the victory.

Alex Smith pitched a complete game for Maplesville, allowing two earned runs on one walk and six hits while striking out 10.

Smith also led the Red Devils at the plate with a 3-for-4 performance that included a single, double, triple and an RBI.

Willis handled the pitching for Billingsley and pitched six innings, allowing three earned runs on five walks and seven hits with six strikeouts.

The Red Devils got out to a much quicker start in Game 2 with a two-run single by Smith and a two-run double by Thaddeus Hunter to aid a five-run first inning.

Drayton Dubose was hit by a pitch, which led to an RBI single by Matt Snow. Five more runs came across for Maplesville in the home half of the second to put the game out of reach for the Bears.

Trent Smith started the inning with a walk while John Schoener followed it with a single.

A double by Drew Smith scored Trent Smith, and a three-run home run by Alex Smith put Maplesville up by nine.

The offense was not done yet for the Red Devils, as Hunter singled to cap off the second inning while giving Maplesville a 10-1 lead.

The Bears went quietly through the top of the third while the Red Devils tacked on two more runs in the home half of the inning with Alex Smith reaching on a fielders’ choice and Devan Wallace on a Bears error.

A double to deep center field scored both Maplesville runners and extended the lead to 12-1.

A leadoff walk by Logan Gilmore opened the fourth inning and set up an RBI ground ball by Snow to cut the Red Devils lead to 10.

However, Maplesville had an answer with two more runs on a double from Trent Smith and a RBI ground ball by Schoener.

A three-up, three-down top of the fifth ended the game on the mercy rule in favor of Maplesville.

Schoener pitched five innings for the Red Devils with two earned runs on three hits and four walks, and five strikeouts.

Alex Smith once again led Maplesville at the plate with a 2-for-4 performance with a single, a home run and five RBIs.

Noah Godwin led the Bears at the plate in Game 2 with a 2-for-3 performance with two singles.

Harrell threw 2 2/3 innings with two earned runs, one walk, three hits and five strikeouts.