Schoener’s perfect night helps MHS advance

Published 4:31 pm Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Maplesville swept Hoover Heritage Christian Academy and advanced to the second round of the AHSAA Class 1A baseball playoffs with help from senior Brent Schoener’s flawless batting.

The Red Devils won a pair of highly-contested games, as they defeated Hoover Heritage Christian 5-3 and 8-7 respectively.

“Big win for our guys and this program,” Maplesville head coach Clay Entrekin said. “We have faced some mountains of adversity and distractions, and I could not be more proud of the way these young men have pushed aside and come together.”

Maplesville relied on solid play in the field and at the plate to get the job done.

During the series the Red Devils combined for 19 hits and committed just two errors.

“The line up one through nine tonight had an approach and was willing to make the necessary adjustments in order to be successful,” Entrekin said.

Eight of those hits came from Schoener. He had a perfect series at the plate going 5-for-5 in Game 1 and 3-for-3 in Game 2.

“Our seniors really showed the type of leadership it takes to provide that confidence and edge for others to follow,” Entrekin said.

Maplesville defeated Hoover Heritage Christian 5-3 and 8-7 in the first round of the state playoffs on April 20. (File photo)

Big fourth and fifth innings were the theme in both games for Maplesville. The Red Devils produced five runs during the two innings in Games 1 and 2.

Christin Brown took the mound as the starter in Game 1 and turned in a strong six-inning performance following a somewhat shaky start, in which Hoover Heritage Christian scored three earned runs.

However, Brown settled down and shut down the opposing lineup over the next five innings, while striking out nine batters in the process.

Jackson Abbott followed suit in Game 2 with another six-inning outing for the Red Devils, in which he allowed six earned runs.

“I don’t look at runs earned so much as how do they earn them,” Entrekin said. “He limited walks and limited damage. They got some good hits off of him, but he stayed composed.”

Schoener not only contributed with his bat but also with his arm, as he came in and saved both games. He struck out four batters and allowed no runs in two innings of relief during the series.

Entrekin also praised the play of Brady Harrison behind the plate and his handling of the pitching staff.

“They are playing with the heart and the grit you have to have in the playoffs,” Entrekin said. “Every week you are going to get someone’s best, and it’s all about survive and advance.”