Centreville loses Game 1

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, May 11, 2011

MENDENHALL — It was a “Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde” night for Centreville Academy starter Hunter Devall Tuesday night, and the Tigers’ play in the field didn’t help matters.

In Game 1 of the MAIS Class AA state championship round, Devall had 11 strikeouts against opponent Simpson Academy but issued two walks and hit four batters. Meanwhile, the Tigers’ offense could not muster the key hits it needed and the defense had five errors in a 6-3 loss.

“We took one on the chin tonight,” Centreville baseball coach Jason Horne said.

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“We had some crucial errors in all three phases of the game: baserunning, fielding and hitting. We just didn’t bring our A game. My hat goes off to Simpson, they got the clutch hits when they needed them. They didn’t have but five hits, but those were big hits for them.”

Devall went all six innings for Centreville.

“He threw strikes early on, but they had some infield singles, and we made a few errors,” Horne said.

“He had 11 strikeouts, but they just put the ball in play when they needed to. He made some good pitches all night, they just got some breaks that they needed.”

Centreville’s Randy Bell went 2-for-3 with a double. Jonathan Spivey finished 2-for-3 and Hunter Travis was 2-for-4. But the Tigers offense wasn’t able to come up with enough timely hits to keep up with Simpson.

“(In addition to our nine hits), we had three walks and only struck out four times,” Horne said. “We left seven men stranded.

“The only good thing is, we live to see another day. We’re going to be ready to go Thursday. We have to win two at home to win the state championship.”

Horne said he’s unsure of who his Game 2 starter will be. The Tigers (27-9) will host Simpson at 5 p.m. Thursday for Game 2. Game 3, if necessary, will immediately follow.