CVA knocked off area rival Cornerstone in two games, 10-3 and 12-1 on Wednesday to advance to the championship game of the AISA Class A state playoffs. The defending state champs now boast a 39-6 record overall and are two games away from hoisting the state trophy.
“If we come out and put the ball in play, we have a good chance to win it all,” said Rebel head Bobby Hughes, whose team will play the winner of the Sumter/Crenshaw series. “It’s going to be a battle when we get there. I’m proud of my kids, they’ve played well all year. They’re probably the best team I’ve coached in my 11 years here. To win 39 games, you just don’t see teams stay focused. In Game 1, we could have quit, but I told them champions overcome.”
Down 3-1 in the fifth with runners at the corners, Steven Cryer made a crucial two-out play to tie the game in Game 1.
After floating the ball over the left fielder’s head and reaching second base, both John Bullen and Ryan Batson (running for Garrett McMillan) came home on the play to even things up at 3-3.
The next batter, Jarrod Mims, nearly hit a home run moments later, but settled for a double and two RBIs. Hunter Roe and Cryer came home, putting CVA up 5-3 as the crowd erupted.
The Rebels sealed the deal in the sixth with five additional runs scored as Cornerstone’s wheels came off. Myles Varner’s double scored Saxon Grimes to add one run to the lead.
Then Cornerstone’s Dylan Rodgers walked Hunter Winslett with bases loaded, scoring Cody Garrett, who was running for Varner. After Batson scored on a sacrifice fly from Bullen, the lead increased to 8-3.
Both Preston Parker and Winslett scored on a throwing error to third for the last two runs of the game.
Jarrod Mims (two and two-thirds innings, 1 hit, five strikeouts) picked up the win.
Bullen tagged up from third to score the first run for CVA in first inning of Game 2. Grimes then doubled to score Mims to make it 2-0. CVA took a 3-0 first inning lead on the Chargers when Varner scored Grimes from third with a single.
Roe homered to left to open the third inning, giving the Rebels a 4-0 lead. Varner’s sacrifice fly ball allowed Mims to make it 5-0 later in the inning.
Cornerstone cut the lead to 5-1 when Clayton Halbert scored on fielder’s choice in the bottom of the third.
With no outs in the fourth, the Rebels loaded the bases. Roe came up to hit and smashed a ball deep into right, nearly getting a grand slam. The ball hit the outfield wall, and Winslett scored from third on the play.
Two mistakes from Cornerstone let another two runs in. Cryer scored on a balk and Roe made it 8-1 on a wild pitch.
In the fifth, Bullen singled to score Parker and Mims put the game out of reach at 12-1 with a three-run homer in the sixth.
Daniel Kennedy (three hits, five strikeouts) got the Game 2 victory.
Contact Wesley Sinor firstname.lastname@example.org.