By Joshua Price/Sports Editor
Westbrook Christian High School and Section High School split its Class 2A, second round playoff doubleheader on April 27 at William Stewart Park in Rainbow City.
The Warriors the opener, 13-3, but the Lions pawed their way from behind to take the second game, 7-6.
Chris Manning scored off a Westbrook throwing error to take the lead for Section in the bottom of the sixth inning, 7-6. Heath McRae retired the Warriors in order in the top of the seventh inning to earn the win.
Thomas singled off Warrior pitcher Jake Kilgo, and Dylan Carson followed with a double to give Section runners on second and third with two outs. Westbrook elected to intentionally walk leadoff batter Manning to load the bases.
Heath McRae ripped a single up the middle, scoring Thomas and Carson, and tying the match at 6-6. Westbrook committed a defensive error, allowing Manning to tap home plate for the winning run.
Westbrook head coach Matt Kennedy was not pleased with his team’s performance.
“We played terrible. We made too many mistakes in the field and gave up way too many 0-2 hits. That’s not winning baseball. If we play like this tomorrow, we will be shaking their hands telling them good luck in the rest of the playoffs.”
Westbrook took an early lead in the see-saw nightcap.
Clay Templeton singled in the top of the second inning, scoring Warrior catcher Jonathan Ford. Blaine Beaird also scored on a wild throw to home from the Section centerfielder. Westbrook led after an inning and a half, 2-0.
Chase McRae walked with one out in the bottom of the second inning. The Warriors made three throwing errors trying to catch McRae as he rounded the bases. McRae tapped home plate, cutting the Westbrook lead to 2-1 at the end of the second inning.
Matt Reaves led the Warriors’ half of the third inning with a single to left field. Ford was hit by a pitch two batters later, placing runners on first and second bases. Beaird ripped a single to centerfield to score Reaves and give Westbrook a 3-1 lead.
Westbrook added another run in the fourth inning.
John Mayfield doubled to centerfield to lead off the inning. Reaves slapped a two-out double, scoring Mayfield and giving the Warriors a 4-1 lead.
Section answered with three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Cody Goff lead the Lions’ half of the inning with a double, and scored two batters later off of a single up the middle. Mason Thomas provided the most offensive damage for Section in the fourth, driving in a pair of runs to tie the tilt at 4-4.
Westbrook responded in the top of the fifth with two runs.
Mayfield ripped a two-out double to deep centerfield, scoring Beaird and Josh Calhoun. The Warriors led 6-4 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning.
Kilgo was charged in the loss for the Warriors.
Westbrook enacted the mercy rule on Section in the opener, winning 13-3 in six innings.
The Warriors scored eight runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a 9-1 lead.
Westbrook added five runs in the bottom half of the sixth inning. Kilgo slapped a single to left field, scoring Calhoun and Templeton, to end the match.
Mikhail Cazenave earned the win the first game. The junior hurled 5 2/3 innings and gave up two earned runs, while striking out eight Lions.
Mayfield led Westbrook in the first game, batting 2-for-3 with a double, and RBI and a run scored. The senior shortstop earned a pair of walks after being hit by the pitch as many times.
Cazenave batted 1-for-2 with a pair of walks and two runs scored.
Reaves belted two hits with three RBIs.
Westbrook hosts Section tomorrow (April 28) for a game-three rubber-match. The first pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.