2A, No. 7 Westbrook defeats Sand Rock, wins area title
Tue. April 09, 2013 at 11:11 p.m. | By J.J. Hicks Staff Writer
Westbrook’s Stephen Blackstock steals second as Sand Rock’s Austin Chambers misses the throw from home during Tuesday’s Class 2A, Area 13 game in Rainbow City (Photo by Marc Golden | Gadsden Times)
RAINBOW CITY — Class 2A, No. 7 Westbrook Christian clinched the Area 13 championship with an 11-1, six-inning victory over Sand Rock on Tuesday in high school baseball.
The win also was the Warriors’ 51st straight in area play.
Westbrook Christian (15-10, 6-0) pounded 13 hits on the afternoon and stole eight bases en route to downing the Wildcats.
“We have been real fortunate, real blessed to have good athletes,” Westbrook coach Matt Kennedy said. “The guys just keep doing it. It takes everybody. A streak is great and it’s cool to have those, but you try to go out and win every game whether it’s a streak or the first area game. It’s never about me, it’s about these guys.”
Mikhail Cazenave had a big game for the Warriors in securing the area title. He went five innings on the mound in getting the win, fanning seven while yielding just one hit and two walks. He helped his own cause with two hits and two RBI.
“It feels nice,” Cazenave said. “I still didn’t make all of the pitches I wanted to. I try to dominate every game I pitch. Any hits or RBI I pick up at the plate are just a bonus.”
The lone hit given up by the senior came on the first batter of the game, when Sand Rock’s Austin Chambers doubled. Cazenave retired the next three hitters in order to get out of the inning unharmed.
“I think he got a little tired there toward the end, but I was proud of him,” Kennedy said of Cazenave. “He’s been our number one guy all year. We’ve got five guys we can run out there, but we’re going to win with Mikhail. He’s won some big ballgames for us.”
In the bottom of the first, the Warriors got on the board with two out. Jordan McCartney singled, courtesy runner Evan Gregerson advanced to second on an errant pickoff throw by pitcher Ethan Jimmerson and then stole third. Jonathan Ford doubled to give Westbrook a 1-0 lead.
The Warriors struck again in the bottom of the third. With two outs and no one on, McCartney got hit by a pitch. Ford followed with a walk and Matthew Reaves doubled to left field to make it 2-0. Cazenave then drove a two-RBI single to left to push the advantage to 4-0. Kyle Leonard bunted for a single to again put two runners on base. Tyler Pankey singled to right, scoring Cazenave and Leonard to give Westbrook a 6-0 lead and knock Jimmerson out of the game. Chambers replaced him on the mound and got the last out.
Sand Rock (7-10, 2-3) picked up its lone run in the top of the fifth. Chandler Mackey reached on an error, and Cazenave hit the next two batters to load the bases. Two batters later, Braden Carver hit into a fielder’s choice to score Mackey and make it 6-1.
The Warriors got one in the bottom of the fifth on a Blaine Beard’s RBI single.
In the bottom of the sixth, Jake Kilgo singled, stole second and reached third on a throwing error. He then scored on a wild pitch to make it 8-1. McCartney got on because of a two-base error, and a Ford single put runners on first and third. Reaves doubled to score courtesy runner Gregerson and extend the lead to 9-1. Chambers balked to bring in Ford and make it 10-1. Leonard finished the game off with an RBI single.
“(Jimmerson) kept the ball in on us early, and most people keep it away from us,” Kennedy said. “Once we figured it out, we got the bat on the ball and did what we were supposed to do.”
Kilgo, Leonard and Ford had two hits each for the Warriors.
Dylan Mackey and Chandler Mackey had one hit each for the Wildcats.