Westbrook comes up short in second round

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Photo: Westbrook Christian’s Caleb McCarty delivers a pitch during the Warriors’ 4-0 loss to Lauderdale County in the second round of the Class 3A state playoffs on April 21 in Rainbow City. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger)

By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor

In the end, the Westbrook Christian baseball team did not possess quite enough firepower to get past Lauderdale County in the second round of the Class 3A state playoffs.
After splitting the first two games on April 21 in the best-of-three series, the Warriors (21-10) fell to the Tigers, 5-3, in the deciding game last Saturday (April 22) in Rainbow City.
Westbrook fought back from an early 5-0 hole to put across three runs in the bottom of the fourth, but winning pitcher Miles Edwards stared strong and ended stronger. Over the final three innings, Edwards allowed one hit and two baserunners while retiring eight of the of the final 10 Westbrook batters. During the first three innings, he sent down all but one of the batters he faced, including retiring the side in order in the second.
In seven innings, Edwards scattered six hits, three runs and one walk while striking out seven.
The Tigers quickly provided Edwards with support with a pair of runs in the top of the first, another in the second and two more in the third.
Westbrook finally roughed up Edwards in the fourth. With one out, Hugh Windle was hit a by a pitch and scored off an error. Cam Carden and Jacob Maples ripped consecutive base hits, and Carden eventually stole home. Morgan Prater’s single later in the inning plated Maples to cut the Warriors’ deficit to two runs.
But Edwards eventually settled down and limited the hosts to a sale and a walk the remainder of the game, ending Westbrook’s season at 21-10.
The Warrior offense experienced similar difficulty the day before against Game 1 starter Skylar Tucker, who in 6.1 innings limited the hosts to three hits and one walk while fanning five to help Lauderdale County to a 4-0 win.
Westbrook starter Caleb McCarty had a solid outing, scattering five hits and six walks over the full seven innings. But McCarty suffered some tough luck in the top of the fifth, when with two outs and Lauderdale County down to its final strike, the visitors scored three unearned runs to take the lead for good.
Westbrook managed one hit and two baserunners the rest of the game, neither of whom advanced past second base.
The Warriors had no issues with their offense in Game 2, as a six-run fifth inning paved the way for an 11-1 victory in six innings.
After Lauderdale County took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, Westbrook starter Hugh Windle retired 13 of the last 15 batters, allowing only a base hit and a walk in the process. He had two strikeouts.
In the meantime, Mason Coley’s two-run home run in the top of the second gave the hosts the lead for good. The Warriors provided Windle with plenty of insurance in the fifth, when Cam Carden’s RBI single, three runs off an error, Prater’s run-coming base hit and Dalton Grace’s two-RBI single made it 8-1.
The Warriors ended the game on the 10-run mercy rule in the sixth. Cam Carden doubled in Coley, Abe Martin scored off Jacob Maples’ sacrifice fly and Cam Carden came home on a passed ball for an 11-1 advantage.
Windle then retired the side in order in the bottom of the inning to set up the deciding Game 3.
For the series for Westbrook, McCarty had four hits and two runs scored; Coley had two hits with two RBI and two runs scored; Windle had two hits and a run scored; Cam Carden had three hits, two RBI and three runs scored; Maples had two hits, an RBI and a run scored; Prater had two hits, two RBI and a run scored and Grace had two hits and an

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