With the win, the Tigers will host the second round against Beauregard.
“I am really proud of our guys,” Childersburg head coach Chad Slaten said. “We didn’t hit it the other day like we are capable of hitting it. I felt like we would swing it better today. I know how good of a hitting team they can be. I told them before we came out in a meeting before the first inning that they were ready. I could tell that they were ready and I felt like we are going to hit the ball really good today. Alex Bentley pitched it really good once he got his composure and got loose out there. I thought he did a really good job. I’m not sure how many hits that we had, but I know we had a bunch. In game threes you have to score a lot of runs, but Alex is not a typical game three pitcher either. He pitched it pretty doggone good.”
The win also marks Childersburg’s (31-6) most wins since the 38-6 record in their 2007 championship season.
Childersburg was the away team on the board and it didn’t take them long to put runs on the board.
Reeves Brashear hit a single to score Alex Bentley to give the Tigers a 1-0 advantage.
A few batters later with the bases loaded, designated hitter Walker Holmes hit a shot to the shortstop that was mishandled which allowed Brashear to come home from third base to make it 2-0. With the bases still loaded, Will Donahoo hit a two-run single to left field to put Childersburg on top 4-0.
“Anytime you score four runs in a game three, that’s a big cushion to have,” Slaten said. “I thought the four runs in the first were huge. Lightsey got it started; he has been solid for us all year. Then, Brashear and [Peyton] Logan came behind him. [Ryan] Garrett had that big bunt there to move them over. I thought we executed when we had to execute. We hit it good and I am tickled to death for them.”
In the bottom of the first inning, Bentley struggled off the mound for Childersburg. He walked the first two batters of the inning, but he was able to strike out the next two batters and got a pop up to the catcher to get out of the inning.
The Tigers continued to give Bentley the run support he needed in a close-out game in the second inning.
Bentley helped his own cause with a single to start the inning. Zach Lightsey hit a double to deep right center field, which allowed Bentley to score from first base to make it 5-0.
Logan grounded out to second base allowing Lightsey to score to give the Tigers a 6-0 lead.
Aggressive base running was also major factor in Monday’s game. Justin Baker reached base on a two out single to left field. Baker stole second base to get into scoring position. Baker also attempted to take third base on an errant throw from the catcher that went into left field, which allowed Baker to score to make it 7-0.
Bentley pitched his way into trouble in the bottom half of the frame. Logan Taylor hit a double to deep left center field to start the inning. Connor Boyd walked to put runners on first and second base.
The Tigers almost got out of the inning without any damage done. Will Lumpkin hit a ground ball to the shortstop who tossed it to second base for the out. The throw to the first baseman was on target, but the first baseman was unable to bring in the throw, which allowed Taylor to come around to score. That was Childersburg’s only error of the series.
Childersburg continued to pour it on in the fifth inning. With the bases loaded, Logan hit a single to left center field to score Trevor Bates and Lightsey to increase the lead to 7-1. Ryan Garrett hit a single that allowed Brashear to score to make it 10-1. Holmes hit a single that scored Logan to make it 11-1.
“We knew coming in that they could hit,” Handley head coach Todd Cole said. “We had two guys that have carried us all year. We just ran out of pitching.”
Bentley recorded his seventh and final strikeout of the game to end the game.
The Tigers take on Beauregard in the second round of the AHSAA playoffs.
“Their coach is a college teammate of mine and we lived together for a year,” Slaten said. “So it will be a fun thing. I know they went to the championship team. They lost some guys but they are solid.”