ACA sweeps past Red Bay
Sat. April 28, 2012 at 1:00 a.m. | By Andrew Carroll
American Christian Academy’s Landon Sartain dives to home plate as Red Bay pitcher Austin Malone comes up shy of making the out Friday during a Class 2A second-round playoff game. (Photo by Dusty Compton)
TUSCALOOSA | After scoring three runs in the opener, the American Christian Academy Patriots erupted for 14 in Friday’s second game and swept Red Bay in the AHSAA Class 2A baseball playoffs.
Senior right-hander Kyle Smelley pitched a complete game as the Patriots won the first game 3-1. Starter Addison Moore and John Mills combined for a two-hitter in five innings, and ACA won the second game 14-2.
ACA (27-12), the defending champion, will travel to play in a third-round series next week, taking on the Woodland-Ranburne winner. Red Bay, which defeated Oakman in three games in the first round, finished at 14-21.
In the second game, senior Austin Grammer drove in four runs with a couple of sacrifice flies and a two-run triple. John Major Davis went 4-for-4, drove in three runs and scored once. Leadoff hitter Landan Sartain scored three runs as did Tyler Hughes, who ran for catcher Austin Corley. Seth Morris drove in two runs and scored twice. Will Hollyhand and Landon Fancher scored two runs each.
"Kyle Smelley definitely set the tone in the first game," said ACA coach Matt Moore. "We didn’t do anything offensively. We didn’t do anything defensively. He kind of singlehandedly took that game over himself and gave us the momentum.
"As sloppy as we played in the first game, we started out a brand new ballgame, and that was my message to the team. You’ve got to forget. You’re on your home turf. You’ve done it before, and you’re going to get everybody’s best effort. I think the early runs helped us relax. Once we relaxed, we kind of settled in and played definitely the best game we’ve played in the playoffs so far."
Red Bay got its two runs in the second inning. Austin Thorn doubled, Bradley Patterson singled and both scored on errors.
Addison Moore (8-3) allowed two hits and struck out three. Mills gave up a walk and struck out one as he closed it out in the fifth.
Thorn started for the Tigers and took the loss. He gave up four runs, four walks and a hit in a third of an inning.
In the first game, Smelley (7-2) gave up six hits and two walks and six. Red Bay left 10 runners on base in the last six innings.
"I didn’t have my best stuff today," Smelley said. "I wasn’t getting ahead as good as I have been, and that was really hurting me. They were getting some hits early, and I kept getting into trouble. Thankfully, I’d get out of it."
Left-hander Austin Malone (5-3) pitched a complete game in taking the loss. He allowed seven hits and five walks and struck out four.
ACA, which left 10 runners stranded, took a 2-0 lead in the first. Sartain and Corley walked, and Sartain went to third when Grammer reached on a fielder’s choice. After Sartain scored on a wild pitch, Fancher drove in Grammer with a two-out triple.
The Tigers got their run in the second. Ethan Blanton, who went 3-for-4, led off with a double, and Thorn singled. Tyler Hastings singled to drive in Blanton.
The Patriots got their final run in the sixth. Addison Moore had an infield single, and courtesy runner Andrew Fowler reached third on an error and a single by Mills. Fowler scored when Sartain’s grounder bounced off Malone’s leg for a single.
Reach Andrew Carroll at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 205-722-0223.