Warriors blanked in state semifinals

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By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent 

Westbrook Christian Warriors fell to two-time defending state champion Madison Academy 5-0, 4-0 in the semifinals of the AHSAA Class 3A state playoffs on Friday (May 13) in Rainbow City.

Madison Academy will face American Christian in the best-of-three Class 3A state championship series this week in Montgomery.

“This was a tough loss,” said Westbrook head coach Matt Kennedy. “Madison Academy got hits in good spots and their pitcher pitched a great game.”

Mustang starter Jake Christa shut down the Warriors In Game 1, pitching a six-hit shutout with eight strikeouts. Madison Academy tallied a pair of runs in the top of the third inning on two hits and a walk. The big hit in the inning was a two-RBI single by Dylan Murphy.

The Mustangs (33-15) added two more runs in the top of the sixth inning on three hits and a single run in the seventh inning on one hit.

Kyle Leonard went 3-for-3 for Westbrook.

“(Starting pitcher) Tyler (Self) gave us a chance to win but we didn’t take advantage of it,” said Kennedy.

Madison Academy used three pitchers to complete a three-hit shutout in Game 2. Sam King pitched five and one-third  innings, striking out six while keeping the Warrior hitters off balance. Lucas Mordecai and Dylan Murphy combined for the final one and two-third innings, not allowing a hit.

Westbrook (26-12) had its best chance to score in the top of first inning. Garret Kennedy led off with a double and advanced to third on a fielder’s choice but was gunned down at the plate.

Helped by two costly Westbrook errors, the Mustangs scored all four of their runs in the second inning behind hits by Will Acuff, James Nix and Lucas Mordecai.

Devin Hammontree threw five and two-third scoreless innings in relief of Game 2 starter Garret Kennedy, allowing one hit with four strikeouts. The Warrior bats, however, could never get going to complement Hammontree’s strong pitching performance.

“I’m proud of our team,” said Matt Kennedy. “We started the season at 0-6 and made it to round 3 of the playoffs. We just got better and better as the season went along. I’m blessed to do what I do.”

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