Westbrook on target in second round sweep over Colbert County

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Messenger file photo by Chris McCarthy

By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor

You’ve got to like your chances in a best-of-three high school baseball series if your starting pitching does not allow an earned run in 14 innings.
Westbrook Christian rode a pair of dominant performances from Dylan Rainey and Brayden Kay on the mound on the way to a 2-0, 4-2 sweep over Colbert County in the second round of the Class 3A state playoffs on Thursday, April 25 in Leighton.
“Both of those were really dialed in,” said Westbrook head coach Jerry Windle. “They filled up the strike zone all night long. They had command of all their pitches and located the ball really well. Even their misses (on pitches) were around the strike zone. I feel like both guys have gotten better and better over the last few weeks.”
Rainey set the tone in game 1, limiting the Indians to three hits and one walk while striking out 10 in seven innings. He retired 21 of the 24 batters he faced and sent down the final nine hitters in order.
Rainey received all the support he would need in top of the fourth when Jacob Maples singled home Brady Carden. Rainey provided himself some insurance in the sixth with his RBI base hit that plated Brodie Johnson.
Other than that, Colbert County starter Clay Dolan limited the Warriors to three other hits while walking four and fanning three in seven innings.
“We were a little frustrated with our approach to the plate in game 1,” said Windle. “[Dolan] wasn’t overpowering but he stayed around the plate and mixed speeds on his pitches and kept us off-balance.”
Kay was similarly dialed in during game 2 for Westbrook, striking out 10 while scattering four hits and issuing one walk. While Noah Wright’s bases-loaded single in the second and Brady Carden’s RBI base hit in the third staked Rainey to a 2-0 lead, he kept the Indians off the scoreboard until the top of the fourth when Wesley Chaney scored off an RBI groundout. Trey Love scored a run in the following inning to tie the score at 2-2, but Kay shut down the Indians the rest of the way with a pair of scoreless innings.
Meanwhile, the Warriors added to their lead in the fourth by way of Bo Kilgo’s RBI triple and Brodie Johnson’s sacrifice fly.
“The second game was a little bit deceptive in that we sent several rockets right to their outfielders,” said Windle. “But we also had a few dinks and dunks that got through the infield that probably shouldn’t have been hits, so I guess it all averages out.”
Wright went 3-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored, Carden went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored and Kilgo had a hit, an RBI and a run scored.
The Warriors (20-10) will host Fayette County in the quarterfinal round starting Wednesday, May 1 at 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. The if-necessary game 3 is scheduled for Thursday at 1 p.m.
“[Fayette County] is a really good baseball team that is well-coached and executed in every facet of the game,” said Windle. “They’re starting around eight seniors this year, and they’ve been playing some good baseball over the last several weeks. They’ve got some really good arms, they played very good defense and they’ve got some tough outs at the plate, so we’ll definitely have to be at our best and have some things go our way in order to beat them.”

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