Rams, Tigers move on in state playoffs

Published 12:01 am Saturday, April 26, 2008

MINDEN, La. — What Wilkinson County Christian Academy has done in the last couple of weeks has been amazing, going from finishing third in the District 6-A Tournament to now advancing to the Class A South State semifinals.

And it appears that the Rams may be taking a page from the Super Bowl XLII champion New York Giants — winning on the road. They did so again Friday afternoon as they rallied to defeat District 6-A champion Glenbrook 7-6 in eight innings.

WCCA (21-10), the South Wild Card No. 1 team, will take on District 5-A runner-up Benton Academy in the best-of-three semifinal round with Game 1 on Monday at a time to be determined. Glenbrook finished at 16-7.

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In the top of the eighth inning, Brennan Bush led off with a double. Trumaine Norwood pinch ran for Bush and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Joseph Harvey. Hayden Whetstone then laid down a suicide squeeze that scored Norwood for the game-winning run.

Brandon Simon, who started WCCA’s rally from a 6-1 deficit with a two-run home run in the top of the fifth inning, relieved starter George Davis with two outs in the bottom of the first and pitched seven and one-third innings. While Davis was charged with the four runs that Glenbrook scored in the first, Simon held the Apaches to just two runs, both in the bottom of the fourth.

“We’ve been through this several times this year. With senior leadership and kids believing in each other, we’re capable of not quitting and plugging along,” WCCA head coach Ray Olive said. “Randy Bell, a seventh-grader, led off with a single with one out in the top of the seventh. That was a huge momentum boost.”

Later on in the top of the seventh, Simon tied the game at 6-6 with a single and a boot in the outfield by Glenbrook that cleared the bases.

Centreville Academy 7, Simpson Academy 3

MENDENHALL — Cliff Hurst and Kyle Brown combined to pitch a three-hitter on the road as the Tigers defeated the Cougars to take the first round of their Class AA South State Playoffs series two games to one.

Centreville (12-17), the District 5-AA No. 2 seed, advanced to the Class AA South State semifinals and will take on the winner of the Copiah Academy-Trinity Episcopal series next week.

Hurst allowed just two runs on two hits in six innings to get the win. Brown allowed one run on one hit in the bottom of the seventh to pick up his first save of the season.

“We played well. Cliff did an exceptional job on the mound,” Centreville head coach Jason Horne said. “Brown came in in the seventh and gave up a double.”

Eric Noland led Centreville at the plate, going 3-for-3 with one run batted in. Anthony Lopez had a double and two RBIs. For Simpson Academy, Fitzgerald was 2-for-4 with a double

The one thing Horne wasn’t happy with was the number of runners the Tigers left on base, especially in the first two innings when they stranded the bases loaded. And he knows that cannot happen in the next round.

“Whoever it is, we’ve got our hands full,” Horne said. “We’ll try to compete with them.”