Trinity, Mars Hill Bible Grab 4th Baseball Titles
Class 3A Championship Series
Game 2: Trinity 12, Piedmont 0
Trinity pounded 14 hits in the second game of the AHSAA Class 3A state baseball championship series Thursday afternoon at Riverwalk Stadium and beat Piedmont 12-0 to captured their fourth state title.
Junior pitcher Allen Wood (10-0) closed out a perfect season with a two-hitter over six innings. He walked none, struck out two and faced just two batters over the limit to get the championship win.
Senior shortstop Mark White had two hits and two RBIs to pace the Wildcats (29-13) and earn MVP honors for the 3A title series. He also had 10 fielding chances in both games without an error.
Catcher Williams Stabler had three hits and two RBIs for coach Ken Whittle, who registered his 600th win in last weekend’s semifinals. Inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame last March, Whittle now has 602 career wins – all at Trinity.
Zach Walker and Hunter Chambliss also had two hits each for the Wildcats.
Cade Bradley (10-3) started for Piedmont and went four innings to get the loss. Trevor Ford and Landon Pruitt got one hit each for the Bulldogs (29-11-1) of Coach James Blanchard. Piedmont scored 54 runs in its first four 2012 playoff rounds and brought an 8-0 playoff record in earning their first trip to the 3A state championship series.
Trinity has now won state titles in four different decades under Whittle’s direction. Previous titles came in 1985, 1996 and 2000.
Game 1: Trinity 5, Piedmont 4
Trinity posted four runs in the first three innings, then staved off a late Piedmont comeback to win game one of the Class 3A championship series 5-4.
Winning pitcher Tatum Dean (8-4) hurled 5 1/3 innings for Trinity allowing six hits, one earned run and striking out one. Brock Stevens pitched the final 1 2/3 innings allowing two hits to record the save.
The Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Trevor Ford doubled and scored on pitcher Joel Ray’s sacrifice fly. Ray (10-3) struggled early, walking Trinity lead-off hitter Mark White and Trace Johnson. White later scored on a double-play.
White drew a bases-loaded walk in the second inning to drive in another run and the Wildcats made it 4-1 in the third when Chas Mitchell singled in one run and Stevens doubled in another.
Ray settled down to allow only one run the rest of the way but it turned out to be a big one. Piedmont rallied in the top of the sixth to cut the lead to 4-3 when Chris Strott doubled, Matthew Strott followed with an RBI single and Dillon Terry drove in another run with an infield out.
Trinity bounced back in the bottom of the sixth when Johnson doubled home Hunter Chambliss. Stevens gave up a double to Ford and an RBI triple to Ray in the top of the seventh but got out of the inning when Chas Strott flied out deep to right.
Stevens and Chambliss had two hits each for Trinity while Ford had two doubles and Ray drove in two runs for the Bulldogs.
Class 2A Championship Series
Game 3: Mars Hill Bible 7, Leroy 1
Senior left-hander Thomas Burrows tossed a five-hitter and struck out nine to lead Mars Hill Bible (43-7) to a 7-1 state championship win over Leroy.
Mars Hill has now won four state baseball crowns – 1977, 1978, 2010, and 2012 – including two of the last three at Montgomery.
Burrows (9-1), named the series MVP, also delivered a go-ahead RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning which started a six-run rally and broke open the final game. The big senior hit a two-run homer in the first game of the series for the game-winning hit and was walked six times.
Shortstop Colby Smith also had two hits and two RBIs and J.T. Hudson added a double and two RBIs.
Leroy (35-9), winners of 2A titles in 2001, 2007 and 2008, took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Cole Dunn walked and pinch-runner Ronnie Reed scored on Joseph Alday’s single. Alday, who got the mound win in relief in game two, finished with two hits. Starting pitcher Chris Ervin also had two hits for Coach Matt Braun’s Bears, who were runners-up in 2011 and 2010.
Game 2: Leroy 6, Mars Hill Bible 3
Leroy downed Mars Hill Bible 6-3 to force a third and final game.
The Bears struck for three runs in the first two innings before Mars Hill clawed back to tie the game at 3-3 in the top of the fourth. Leroy broke the contest open in the bottom of the fourth with three runs – highlighted by pinch-runner Ronnie Reed’s steal of home. He was running for relief pitcher Joseph Alday, who reached on a fielder’s choice. The Bears picked up another run on a balk.
Leroy right fielder Hayden Waite was 3-for-3 with a double. Designated hitter Daniel Dees had two hits, Alday one hit and two RBIs and William Gartman had a single and two runs scored. Alday (11-3), the losing hurler in game one, got the win with 1 2/3 innings of relief. Tyler Smith pitched the final two innings, allowing no hits and striking out three to record the save.
White (1-1) got the loss for Mars Hill. J.T. Hudson had two hits to lead the Panthers
Game 1: Mars Hill Bible 5, Leroy 0
Glenn Irby (10-0) hurled a five-hit shutout and struck out six to lift Mars Hill Bible to a 5-0 win over Leroy in the first game of the series.
Irby walked two and threw only 93 pitches as he notched his 10th win of the season. The Panthers (42-6) got all the runs they would need in the bottom of the first inning when first baseman Thomas Burrows slugged his ninth home run of the season over the right-field fence with Irby, who walked, on base to put Mars Hill ahead 2-0.
Luke Krieger doubled in one run and Austin Penter added two hits and an RBI for the Panthers. First baseman John Watkins had three hits, including two doubles, to pace Leroy (34-8).
Starting pitcher Joseph Alday (11-3) allowed just three hits and three runs in five innings, striking out five.