Blue Devils down Sardis, bow to Madison Academy
The fifth-ranked Mustangs of Madison Academy (30-9) used the same recipe for victory against the Falkville Blue Devils they used twice before this season – solid hitting and strong defense.
The Mustangs dispatched Falkville 9-1 to advance to best of three play in the third round of the 3A playoff brackets. They defeated Falkville 9-2 and 11-1 in regular season play.
Madison Academy will host Hokes Bluff for two games on May 3 with a deciding game on Saturday if necessary.
The visiting Mustangs took an inning to size up Blue Devil pitcher Jamie Newcomb. When they stepped up for their second at-bat, the middle of the Mustang order measured Newcomb for five base hits, two base-on-balls and three runs.
Lee Deutschendorf got the Mustangs started with a single, but was wiped off the bases in a fielder's choice when Nick Hill followed him with a single.
Brian Cothren advanced Hill with another base hit and first baseman Kyle Brickhouse drove Hill home with the Mustangs' third single.
Newcomb walked the next two Madison Academy batters, bringing up pitcher Chris Davis.
Davis singled to drive in Brickhouse, but the Blue Devils came up with a double play to retire the side before the Mustangs could do more damage.
Madison Academy plated runs by Deutschendorf, Hill and Cothren in the third inning and added got their seventh from David Wessinger in the top of the fourth.
Falkville picked up their only run when Blue Devil Jonathan Lacy singled and advanced to third when Mustang pitcher Chris Davis walked the next two batters. Ross Summerford hit a sacrifice fly to the second baseman to score Lacy.
Brickhouse plated a run in the fifth and Wessinger picked up the final Mustang run after being hit by a pitch in the sixth.
Davis went six innings for the win, striking out six, walking four and allowing three hits. Ben Khammar provided two innings of relief.
Newcomb got the loss in six, before turning the mound over to first baseman Michael Cocke.
Hill went 4-for-4, including an RBI double in the fourth. Brickhouse connected for three base hits. Cothren connected for a pair of base hits. Deutschendorf was good for three singles. Bobby Hodgdon singled and Davis had two base hits.
Daniel Cobb got two singles for Falkville. Newcomb and Lacy got one each.
The Blue Devils began taking control of their first-round contest with the Sardis Lions from the early stages.
Falkville scored a lone run in the bottom of the first. Sardis answered with a run on their own in the top of the second, but the Blue Devils recaptured the lead on a run in their half.
The Lions took a 3-2 lead in the top of the third inning, but Falkville would answer with four runs as Sardis's starting pitcher began to tire.
The Blue Devils wrapped up the game with another run in the fifth and a resurgent defensive effort.
Jonathan Lacy went the distance for the Blue Devils, striking out four, walking four and giving up nine hits.
Falkville committed four errors, but collected their seven runs on 12 hits.
Lacy and Ross Summerford proved Falkville's most productive at the plate. Both ripped 2-RBI singles.
Alan Summerford singled and connected for an RBI base hit.
Corey Simpson and Michael Cocke tagged base hit pairs, while Ian Thompson, Jamie Newcomb and Ross Summerford rounded out the hitting with singles.