By Jason Bowen/Daily Sentinel
The Westbrook Christian baseball team continues to be a thorn in Section’s side.
The No. 6-ranked Warriors (21-12) posted wins of 8-3 and 3-2 in eight innings last Friday (Apr. 26) to sweep a Class 2A best-of-three second-round state playoff series at SHS.
It was the third straight season the Warriors eliminated the Lions from the postseason. The latest series win earned Warriors a state quarterfinal round matchup with No. 10 Ranburne beginning Friday in Rainbow City. It is the fifth consecutive season that Westbrook advanced to the third round.
After Westbrook won the opener, the teams played an extra-inning nail-bitter in Game 2 in which both teams missed chances to win the game in regulation.
The Warriors, who didn’t have a hit past the second inning, loaded the bases with one out in the sixth, but Section reliever Ross Anderson worked out of the jam with back-to-back strikeouts.
As the visiting team for Game 2, Section got a leadoff single from Dylan Tipton to start the top of the seventh, but Tipton ultimately was left stranded at third base.
After Section left the go-ahead runner aboard in the top of the eighth, Westbrook loaded the bases after two walks and runner reaching on a fielder’s choice. Jesse Brittain then scored the winning run for the Warriors on a wild pitch.
Heath McRae started on the mound for the Lions in Game 2, striking out seven while allowing two hits and four walks over five innings. Anderson pitched two innings and struck out four while allowing one run on no hits and four walks.
Matt Reaves pitched three shutout innings in relief for Westbrook to earn the win. He allowed two hits while striking out two. Starter Jake Kilgo pitched five innings and allowed two runs on five hits while striking out two.
The Warriors got a dominating performance on the mound from Mikhail Cazenave to win Game 1. Cazenave allowed only four hits and one earned run over seven innings.
The Warriors took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning thanks to an RBI single from Kilgo, an RBI double from Jordan McCartney and an RBI sacrifice fly by Jonathan Ford. The Warriors added three more in the third when Kilgo walked, stole the second of his four stolen bases and scored on a fielder’s choice. Alex Perkins added an RBI double and Reaves had an RBI single.
Section cut the lead to 6-2 in the fourth on a Westbrook error. Cody Goff grounded the ball to first base, but the ball came out of the first basemen’s glove when he tried to apply the tag, which allowed Luke Anderson (walk) and Ross Anderson (reached on an error) to score.
The Warriors countered with a run in the fifth on a Section error and added an insurance run in the top of the seventh.
Section added its final run when Heath McRae doubled and score on Dylan Tipton’s RBI single. Thomas and Luke Anderson had Section’s other two hits.
Kilgo finished 3-for-3 with a walk, while Ford had three RBIs and McCartney two RBIs.