Cedar Bluff falls to Shoals Christian
Fri. May 04, 2012 at 12:01 a.m. | By Times Staff
Cedar Bluff’s Curtis Abnernathy pitches to Shoals Christian in high school baseball game action on Friday in Florence. (Jim Hannon | TimesDaily)
By Shane Herrman
FLORENCE — Sixth-ranked Cedar Bluff saw its season come to an end Friday, as the No. 2 Shoals Christian Flame swept the Tigers 11-2 and 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the Class 1A state baseball playoffs.
Shoals Christian (28-21) advanced to play South Lamar in the semifinals, which swept Gaston on Friday night. Cedar Bluff’s season came to an end at 25-14.
The Tigers were unable to recover from the loss of their ace pitcher Curtis Abernathy in the first game. After retiring the first six batters he faced — including four on strikeouts — Abernathy injured his throwing arm in the top of the second inning.
The final punchout proved to be costly.
After feeling a pop in his right elbow, the junior threw only two pitches in the top of the third inning before being relieved. The Flame responded with 11 runs off 11 hits in the first game.
The Tigers answered with eight hits, but could manage only a pair of unearned runs in the top of the fourth. After getting a two-out base runner from a Shoals Christian error, Cedar Bluff got an RBI-double from Dalton Cosby. The next batter, Lott Maxwell, singled in the Tigers’ second and final run of the game.
Rihied Harris finished the opener 2 for 4 at the plate for the Tigers.
In the second game, the Flame held off a late Cedar Bluff rally to clinch the series. Trailing 3-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Tigers scored twice to trim the deficit to a single run.
Kaleb Clark’s two-out single up the middle scored Devante Dixon and Lance Estes to make the score 3-2. With runners at second and third, Cosby popped up to shortstop to end the threat. After Shoals Christian added an insurance run in the top of the seventh, the Tigers went down in order in the bottom of the inning to end the game.
Estes went 2 for 3 at the plate to lead Cedar Bluff. Levi Mintz scattered eight hits over seven innings to take the loss on the mound. He walked two and struck out five on the day.