No. 6 Westbrook Christian rolls past Fyffe


Westbrook Christian's Jake Kilgo slides back to first base Saturday. (Photo by Nick Johnston | Gadsden Times)


RAINBOW CITY — Westbrook Christian coach Matt Kennedy certainly has something cooking in Rainbow City.

After all, be solid in pitching and defense in the postseason, and it’s usually a recipe of success.

The Class 2A, No. 6 Warriors rolled to a pair of shutout wins over Fyffe on Friday to advance to the second round of the Alabama High School Athletic Association state baseball playoffs.

The Warriors (19-12) won the opener 10-0 and took the second game 11-0.

“I was real impressed with the way we pitched and played defense,” said Kennedy, whose team travels this weekend to face Section. “Our bats in the first game, to be honest, were sluggish. We did what we had to do to win that ballgame. But in the second game, I thought we took better approaches.”

Game 1 starter Mikhail Cazenave was silky smooth on the mound, allowing just one hit in five innings and striking out 10. Only two batters reached base during the game for Fyffe (11-10), and neither advanced past first.

“He’s been our No. 1 all year,” Kennedy said. “He went into the season knowing we were going to expect big things out of him, and he’s performed every time. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing — big school, small school — he just goes out there and competes.”

Kennedy opted to go with Jake Kilgo in the second game and, like Cazenave, he faced little adversity against the Red Devils. Kilgo struck out six and gave up just two hits in the five-inning game. Kennedy likes his options for the team’s No. 2 pitcher, which also includes Blaine Beaird and Matthew Reaves.

“All of those guys. ... I’ve got about three No. 2s,” Kennedy said. “Mikhail would be No. 1, and I feel like we can go with any of those guys to have a chance to win.”

He may need all of them against Section. The Lions, who swept West End on Friday in the first round, are the top-ranked team in the state, and they likely would love nothing more than to eliminate the Warriors. Westbrook has knocked Section out of the playoffs the past two seasons.

“They’re very disciplined,” Kennedy said of Section. “They’re a very good baseball team. They have two seniors and eight juniors, and they’re solid.”

In what amounted to a warm-up for that series, Westbrook Christian never really was threatened by Fyffe. In the opener, the Warriors scored two in the first, one in the second, four in the fourth and three in the fifth.

Jordan McCartney went 2 for 4 with an RBI, while Alex Perkins also went 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored. Jonathan Ford went 2 for 2 with a run, Kyle Leonard had one hit and scored three times, while Tyler Pankey, Clay Templeton and Reaves also had hits. Kilgo didn’t get a hit, but scored twice.

In the second game, McCartney provided plenty of fireworks with a three-run homer in the fourth inning. Templeton went 3 for 3 with two doubles, two RBI and a run scored, while Reaves had two hits and two RBI. Both Beaird and Kyle Leonard had a hit and an RBI, while Ford added a hit.