Rain washes out Westbrook, Ranburne


Westbrook Christian’s Clay Templeton and the Warriors will resume their series with Ranburne on Monday. (Photo by Marc Golden | Gadsden Times)


The sixth-ranked Westbrook Christian baseball team will resume its Class 2A third-round state playoff series with No. 10 Ranburne on Monday in Rainbow City.

The teams were supposed to resume Saturday afternoon, but with rain overnight and much of the day, the decision was made to move the series to Monday.

The Warriors lost the opener to the Bulldogs (21-6) 8-3 and need to win two straight to advance out of the round and into the semifinals against Randolph County.

Game 2 will pick up at 4:30 p.m. Monday where it left off with Westbrook Christian (21-13) leading 5-0 and coming to the plate in the top of the third.

Warriors coach Matt Kennedy knew it was going to be an uphill battle to get both games in Friday night. Rain began falling before first pitch and as the conditions worsened, it became evident that Game 2 would be suspended.

“Pitchers started slipping and guys in the box couldn’t get good traction,” Kennedy said. “The main thing is, (Ranburne) coach (Chad) Young and I both don’t want the game to be determined because of weather. A wet ball, kid slipping, we don’t want that to be the cause of somebody losing or somebody winning.”

A tarp was stretched across the infield at the end of the second inning, and the call to suspend the series came about 20 minutes later.

“Hopefully by Monday we’ll be able to throw out some quick dry and maybe get it dry enough to play and finish the series,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy hopes his team can build on its five-run lead and force a deciding Game 3 later Monday.

“We did have a little momentum,” Kennedy said. “Their (pitcher) was kind of struggling to find the strike zone, and we made some good plays just in the first part of the game. With three days off, I don’t really know if there will be a swing of momentum. I hope there’s not. I hope we can continue to do what we’re supposed to do.”

Kennedy plans to send Blaine Beaird back to the mound when play resumes Monday. If the Warriors can close out Game 2, they’ll have junior Jake Kilgo or senior Matthew Reaves to turn to in Game 3. Both have plenty of experience in big games.

“If we’re fortunate enough to finish this one off, I really think with Jake and Matthew, we got a good shot,” Kennedy said.

This isn’t the first time a series between Westbrook Christian and Ranburne has been delayed in the quarterfinals of the playoffs. In 2009, the Alabama High School Athletic Association shut down all athletic events after a swine flu scare in the state. The Warriors swept the Bulldogs that season.