Rebels come close once again

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 13, 2005

MAGEE &045; Adams Christian head coach Gill Morris can tell you all about it.

This stuff is getting old.

There have to be a million better things to do than being in the opposite dugout and watching a team dogpile in the infield to celebrate a state championship. Morris has been there three times in five years at AC &045; in 2001, last year against Jackson Prep and Thursday night at Simpson Academy.

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Nope, it is no fun.

&uot;This is getting old,&uot; Morris said. &uot;Three times is supposed to be a charm, isn’t it? You look at our record, and we were 23-6. I’m proud of them. I’m going to miss the seniors, and the rest of us will get back out here. It hurts, but at the same time they have things to be proud of. We were South State champions, and we still have that (20-game) win streak at home.&uot;

The Rebels dropped a 9-4 decision to the Cougars in the deciding game of the three-games series for the Class AA state title, and the series was indeed a true state championship with the two best teams among all 27 in Class AA.

The Rebels, in their first season in AA following last year’s runner-up finish in AAA, cut the lead to one in the fifth but left the inning with the bases loaded never could get it going after that.

And the Cougars’ four-run sixth didn’t help any, either.

&uot;You can’t explain this feeling,&uot; said Adams center fielder Ray Simpson, who drove in a run in the fourth. &uot;We had a heck of a season, and we were a step closer and finished second again. We’ve had this feeling twice, and I wish I could feel different.&uot;

Yet the Rebels had their chances to get ahead against Simpson ace pitcher Cullen Kight and earlier against starter Ben Maddox but couldn’t capitalize. Even with that two-run fifth where they seemed to grab the momentum by loading the bases off Kight, the Ole Miss signee got Simpson to ground out to second to end the inning.

It carried over to the sixth when Dustin Case led off with a single and went to second on Cole Bradford’s sacrifice bunt to bring up Timmy Foster with one out. But Kight got Foster swinging and David Trisler to ground out hard back to the mound to end the inning with the tying run left in scoring position.

&uot;Getting through that inning right there &045; facing Foster and Trisler in the sixth &045; they had the tying run on base,&uot; Simpson head coach Neill Bartling said. &uot;To get through those two, those two guys are great hitters. To hold them down, I think that definitely was a turning point in the game.&uot;

The Rebels pecked away at both Kight and Maddox but never could get the hit to break it open. They left them loaded in the fifth, left two on in the first and third and finished the game with 10 left on base.