Mars Hill proves too strong for Westbrook
Fri. May 04, 2012 at 11:53 p.m. | By Fred W. Sington III
Mars Hill’s Colby Smith retreats to first base as Westbrook’s Hayden Hendrick awaits the catch from Warriors’ starting pitcher Mikhail Cazenave in the Class 2A quarterfinal playoffs Friday. (Photo by Dave Hyatt | Gadsden Times)
RAINBOW CITY — Westbrook Christian’s bid for a second straight appearance in the Class 2A semifinals came up short Friday, dropping a doubleheader to No. 1 Mars Hill 8-2 and 11-1 in the quarterfinals of the state playoffs at William Stewart Park.
Mars Hill improved to 39-6 on the season and will travel next week to play American Christian Academy who swept Woodland Friday. Fourth-ranked Westbrook finished its season 26-13 overall.
John Mayfield drew a walk to lead off the bottom of the first in game one. Mayfield moved to second on a Jake Kilgo sacrifice bunt before stealing third and scoring on a throwing error by the catcher to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead.
Westbrook loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the second and appeared poised to take early command only to see the inning end on a fly out to centerfield.
“I think we left runners in scoring position in the first two, maybe three innings,” Westbrook coach Matt Kennedy said. “You have got to pick up those hits and score, especially with two outs. We didn’t do that and they were able to do that throughout the day.”
Mars Hill scored three in the fourth, highlighted by a two- run single by Collin White to take a 3-1 lead.
Blaine Beaird cut the Panthers’ lead to 3-2 on an RBI single in bottom of the fourth only to see Mars Hill answer with one in the fifth and four in the sixth to build an 8-2 advantage.
Thomas Burrows (8-1) was the winning pitcher in relief of starter Glenn Irby.
Burrows had six strikeouts and no hits, pitching the final 31⁄3 innings.
Irby had three strikeouts and allowed two runs on two hits in 32⁄3 innings.
“The Irby and Burrows kids were dominating guys with good stuff,” said Kennedy. “We knew that coming in. We weren’t able to get them out of their rhythm and get them off the hill.”
Westbrook’s Mikhail Cazenave (7-1) suffered his first loss of the season after giving up four runs on three hits and striking out four.
Josh Calhoun had an RBI single and Jonathan Ford singled for the Warriors in game one.
In the nightcap, Mayfield led off with a double and scored on a Matthew Reaves single to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Reaves went 2 for 2 with an RBI to lead the Warriors offensively in game two.
The Panthers answered with two runs in the bottom of the first, three in the second, third and fifth innings to post the win in five innings.
Austin Penter went 4 for 4 with a double, three RBI and four runs scored from the leadoff spot to lead Mars Hill in game two.
Will Harrison followed with a 3 for 4 and three RBI performance, while Brandon Krieger went 2 for 3 with two runs scored and a triple. Irby scored four times and highlighted the three-run third with a two-run homer.
Colby Smith (11-1) recorded six strikeouts, gave up one run on four hits in five innings of work to earn the game two win for the Panthers.
Mayfield (5-1) was the pitcher of record for Westbrook with two strikeouts while allowing four runs on six hits.