SARDIS CITY, Ala. – After falling in game one at Sardis Friday 6-2, West Point bounced back to take game two 4-2 and returned to Sardis Monday night for a rubber match against the Lions. Unfortunately for Warriors fans, Sardis was able to find a timely single in the bottom of the sixth to pull ahead late in the game and held on to narrowly defeat West Point 2-1.
Senior Aubry Cleghorn got the start on the mound and put together one of his best outings of his final season with the Warriors, tossing six innings, allowing just one earned run on four hits and striking out seven batters in the loss. The UAH commit also posted the only RBI of the game for West Point.
Cleghorn struck out two of the first three batters he faced in the bottom of the first and after a leadoff single and an error put a pair of runners on base, Eli Folds caught a line drive at shortstop to turn an unassisted double play and get the Warriors out of the second inning unscathed. Cleghorn helped himself out in the top of the third when he drove an RBI single into left field and put West Point in front 1-0 going into the bottom of the third.
Cleghorn fanned two more Sardis batters in the bottom of the third and in the fourth, he caught a runner stealing second to help get the Warriors through another scoreless inning. The Lions got runners on the corners with one out in the bottom of the fifth but after the next man flew out to Folds, Cleghorn struck out his sixth batter of the game to get West Point out of the jam once again.
After a pair of walks led off the bottom of the sixth and an error loaded the bases, an RBI single allowed two runs to score for Sardis and put the Lions in front 2-1. However, the Warriors were able to roll another double play to get out of the inning without any further damage and went to the top of the seventh with one more chance to tie the game or win it.
Cochran singled into left field with two outs to put the tying run on base but a flyout in the next at bat ended the game and secured a tight, 2-1 win for Sardis.
Cochran posted a pair of hits for West Point in the loss and Cleghorn (one hit) finished with an RBI. Branson Smith, Folds, Isaac Hoffpauir and JD Cochran each added a hit in the loss as well.
Other Monday playoff scores:
Cold Springs 5 – North Sand Mountain 3 (Game three)
The Bison scored in the bottom of the first to take an early 1-0 lead, but the Eagles responded with a pair of runs in the top of the second to pull ahead with a 2-1 lead going into the third. Cold Springs pushed another run across the plate to extend its lead to 3-1 in the top of the third and after a pair of scoreless innings, the Eagles tacked on two more runs to make it a 5-1 game in the top of the sixth.
North Sand Mountain was able to string some hits together and put a couple of runs on the board in the bottom half of the sixth to cut the lead to 5-3 going into the seventh but Cold Springs was able to hold onto its lead in the final frame to leave with a 5-3 win and a spot in the next round of the AHSAA state playoffs.
The Eagles will face Westbrook Christian Friday in the second round.
J.B. Pennington 6 – Vinemont 5 (Game three) The Eagles were able to come from behind and take game one at J.B. Pennington Friday but fell in game two and had to return Monday to finish their series with the Tigers. Vinemont led by a pair of runs at one point but couldn’t hold onto it and the Eagles fell 6-5 on the road to finish their season in the opening round of the state playoffs.
Deacon Samples was 3-for-4 at the plate for Vinemont and Braden Boner (one hit) posted two RBIs. Austin Riddle (one hit) and Will Rhodes each added an RBI as well.
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