Marengo Academy beats Eastwood for Class A title
By Tim Gayle
Marengo Academy had been here before and was wary of getting into an offensive shootout with its opponent. That’s why head coach Woodie Beck handed the ball to senior David Dunn.
Dunn struck out 13 in the opener and the Longhorns rode that momentum to a sweep of Eastwood Christian, beating the Warriors 7-0 and 18-3 to claim the Alabama Independent School Association Class A state baseball championship at Paterson Field on Tuesday evening.
“This is a fun group of kids to coach, they’re very talented and it just means the world to me for these guys to win this,” Beck said. “This team (Eastwood) concerned me because I had heard so much about them, about how fundamentally sound they were. These guys were the type that if you ever let them get ahead of you, it seemed like the momentum just carried over. They just got better and better as the game went on.”
In the first game, Marengo got on top early, scoring three runs in the first inning with the help of three walks by Eastwood starter Andrew Hines and an error. That was more than enough for Dunn, who scattered three singles in a seven-inning performance and rebounded from two of the hits with strikeouts to keep the Warriors (21-16) from building any momentum.
“We got the scouting report on these guys and we knew they were aggressive in getting on base and David just took command of the game,” Beck said.
Dunn also scored twice and got offensive help from Jacob Beck (2 for 4) and John Parker Brock (2 for 3) in the shutout. Eastwood, on the other hand, never got any momentum going because of Dunn’s pitching.
“They were fast, they were scrappy, they were really competitive at the plate,” Dunn said. “A two-seam away and a curveball, that’s all I threw the entire day. It was really important (to set the tone early). We came back and were a little slow starting the second game but we figured it out.”
In the second game, Marengo starter David Petrey gave up a walk to Enrice Morton to open the bottom of the first, followed by a single by Benjamin Johnson before hitting three of the next four batters to fall in a 3-0 hole.
“After they scored those three runs, I kind of looked at my pitching coach and asked, ‘What do you think?’ and he said, ‘He’s all right,’” Beck said. “In the games before, it’s taken Davis an inning or two to settle down and he did the same today.”
Petrey went 3 for 6, Cody Cobb went 3 for 5 and Weldon Aydelott went 2 for 4 with 3 RBIs at the plate as Marengo (30-7) sent eight batters to the plate in the fourth, 10 in the sixth and 13 in the seventh to turn the second game into a rout and give this group of Longhorns their first baseball title after years of frustration.
“It means a ton,” Dunn said. “I came here in the ninth grade and lost to Edgewood. Ever since then, that’s what we’ve been shooting for, coming back and finishing it.”
The title caps a remarkable year for Marengo athletics after winning the state football championship in the fall and winning the state softball title last weekend.
“It’s awesome,” Dunn said. “I don’t know if it’s ever been done at Marengo before. It’s been really fun.”
Joining Dunn on the all-tournament team were Petrey, Aydelott and Brad Collins of Marengo and Benjamin Johnson, Ja-Mikael Johnson and Andrew Hines of Eastwood.