PHOTO | Boothe Davis: Captured by the Moment Photography
Bill Lusk | WVOW Sports
MAN After Class A No. 5 Sherman plated a run in the top of the third inning to force a 1-1 tie, Class A No. 4 Man crossed the plate for eight unanswered runs in the fourth and fifth innings to defeat the Tide 10-3 in the Class A Region 4 Section 1 championship Monday evening at William Tootie Carter Field.
The victory gave Man, who improved to 20-9 with the victory, a second consecutive sectional championship and a berth in next week’s Class A Region 4 best of three championship series where the Hillbillies will face third-ranked Wahama.
The White Falcons will host game one Monday with game two to be played Tuesday at Man and if necessary, a third game would be played Wednesday at Wahama.
Braxton Messer broke a 1-1 tie in the bottom of fourth using his legs as he drew a two-out walk, stole second and third and scored on an error by third baseman Josh Jenkins to give Man a 2-1 lead.
The Hillbillies scored seven times in the fifth inning to pad its one-run lead. Caleb Vance started the scoring with a run-scoring single to left plating Jace Adkins giving Man a 3-1 lead.
Vance scored on Brady Hall-Montgomery’s squeeze bunt to put Man ahead 4-1 and Bo Thompson hit into a fielder’s choice scoring Caleb Blevins to make it 5-1.
Messer’s sacrifice bunt scored Hall-Montgomery and Thompson scored on a wild pitch to put Man ahead 7-1 lead.
Adkins closed out the scoring with a two-run single scoring Kaden Dickerson and Colton Miller for a 9-1 lead after five innings.
Messer earned the victory after striking out six and allowing three runs on four hits and five walks in 4 2/3 innings of relief. Preston Blankenship allowed three hits, struck out five and walked one in 2 1/3 innings for Man.
Man led 1-0 after one inning on Hall-Montgomery’s run-scoring fielder’s choice.
Sherman tied the contest at 1-all, when Holden Allen singled to score Clay Massey in the top of the third.
Trailing 9-1, Sherman loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the sixth and got a two-run single from Josh Jenkins to close the gap to 9-3.
Blankenship’s RBI groundout in the bottom of the sixth scored Blevins giving Man a 10-3 lead.
Sherman’s Jared Butcher allowed nine runs, only four earned, on seven hits over 4 2/3 innings. Butcher walked four and struck out two to pick up the loss. AJ Skeens allowed one unearned run in 1 1/3 innings of hitless relief for the Tide.
Cole Whitehead had two hits for Sherman, who was attempting to win a fifth consecutive elimination game. Jenkins had one hit and two RBIs while Allen had one hit and drove in one run.
Austin Davies, Logan Green and Skeens each had one hit for Sherman, who finishes the season with a 22-9 record.
Adkins and Hall-Montgomery each had one hit and two RBIs for Man. Vance had two hits, scored two runs and drove in two while Dickerson had two hits for the Hillbillies.
Blevins had one hit and scored twice and Blankenship and Thompson each drove in a run for Man.