Centreville blanks Brookhaven 9-0

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, May 1, 2012

CENTREVILLE — The opening game of the MAIS Class AA South State Championship series between the Brookhaven Academy Cougars and the Centreville Academy Tigers didn’t resemble the two regular-season games between the two teams.

After the teams split in the regular season, with Centreville winning one game 5-2 and losing the other 4-3, Centreville had little trouble in Game 1 of the three-game series, winning 9-0.

The Tigers were without head coach Jason Horne, who had to sit the game out after being ejected in their series-clinching 4-2 win at Simpson Academy last Friday afternoon. And that meant assistant coach Mark Mann ended up with the head coaching honors.

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Hunter Devall got off to a slow start as he allowed a leadoff single and then hit the next batter he faced to put runners on first and second with nobody out. But Devall got out of the potential jam with a fly out, a pickoff of Bubba Keene at first base for the second out and a ground ball to the second baseman for the third out.

“Hunter settled in after the first inning. They didn’t really threaten us after that,” Mann said. “He kept them off balance.”

Did he ever. Devall gave up a total of three hits, struck out 12 batters and walked one in a complete-game performance to pick up the win. And he got plenty of run support.

Centreville scored two runs in the home half of the first inning to take the lead for good. The Tigers added five runs in the bottom of the second that gave them a 7-0 lead and essentially put the game out of reach. They added two more runs in the bottom of the third to go up 9-0, but they couldn’t bring in another run that would’ve ended the game early.

“We came out with great enthusiasm. We stayed hot for three innings,” Mann said. “We continued to hit the ball well (over the next three innings), but it was right at someone. They made some errors that they normally don’t make. We were hitting the ball one through nine. We put the pressure on them, and we always seemed a find a way to score.”

Austin Travis suffered the loss after allowing seven runs on five hits with one strikeout and two walks. The defense behind him committed five errors.

Centreville Academy (24-4) finished with six hits in the game, with Randy Bell leading the offense by going 2-for-3 at the plate. Hunter Franklin had a double for Brookhaven Academy (19-12).

Game 2 between the Tigers and the Cougars will be at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Brookhaven Academy. Game 3, if necessary, will follow the completion of Game 2.