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Three teams from River Region survive AHSAA first round

LAMP pitcher Chris Dunn picked up a win and a save in the Tigers’ series win at Dale County last weekend. (Staff Photo)

Staff Report
(April 25, 2011)

When the AHSAA state baseball playoffs opened on Friday, 10 teams from the River Region were in contention.

After completing just one round, only three remain.

The weekend featured a few upsets and outright shockers, including Trinity’s elimination in Class 3A.

Prattville in 6A, Tallassee in 5A and LAMP in 3A were the only teams to survive the weekend series and move into Round 2, which begins on Friday.

LAMP advanced by winning 2-of-3 at Dale County. The Tigers dropped the first game, 9-0, before getting two solid pitching performances from Garrett Deloney and Chris Dunn to sweep the next two games, 3-2 and 9-4 on Saturday.

Deloney gave up just two hits through the first six innings in his win on Friday night. Dunn came in to pick up a save in the seventh.

On Saturday, Dunn pitched around a three-run third inning in which the Warriors took a 4-0 lead. It would be all he would allow. He also helped get the LAMP offense going with a two-run single in the Tigers’ half of the third. The Tigers scored three more runs in the fourth and fifth innings.

"I told Chris before we started area play that we needed experience in that third game and that’s why we held him for that situation," LAMP coach Rocky Smith said. "He’s battle tested and it showed up first when we needed a win against Montgomery Academy and again (Saturday)."

Harry Norman had three hits including two doubles in the deciding game. Hayden White and Timothy Simpkins had key doubles to score runs in the fourth inning.

The Tigers (16-20) will travel to Slocomb on Friday for the second round.

Tallassee (19-15) advanced with an impressive showing over Rehobeth. The Tigers earned a sweep on Friday,  11-8 and 8-5, to advance to the second round.

Trey Cochran-Gill won the first game striking out 10 and walking three in his seventh win of the season. Davis Knapp led the offense with three hits and an RBI. Tyler Lynn gave the Tigers the early lead with a three-run homer in the first.

Ryan McNaughton was the winner in Game 2, striking out eight. Zakk Gantt had a solo home run in the win.

The Tigers face Russell County, which won 2-of-3 against Tallassee earlier in the season.

Prattville (30-5) made quick work of Central-Phenix City, sweeping the Red Devils on Friday, 7-1 and 4-3.

Austin Crook was dominant in Game 1, giving up just two hits while striking out eight in a complete-game win. Josh Lovelady added a home run for the Lions, who face defending champion Auburn on Friday.

The rest of the River Region teams were eliminated, including Trinity, which entered the playoffs as the top-ranked team in Class 3A, according to the Alabama Sports Writers Association.

The Wildcats were shocked by Slocomb in three games. Auburn signee Clay Holmes led the Red Tops in a Game 1 victory before Trinity won easily in Game 2, 16-0.

That set up a winner-take-all Game 3 on Saturday and it was the Red Tops who did the taking.  Slocomb scored six runs in the sixth inning to pull away for a 9-4 victory.

"We just fell apart," Trinity coach Ken Whittle said. "You give Slocomb credit. They got key hits. This was their day."

Wetumpka ran into a buzz saw at Auburn, losing to the Tigers in a pair of 11-1 games. Auburn hit seven home runs in the two games.

"You can’t take away what they were able to do against our staff," Wetumpka coach Ray Mullino said. "When we played them (in March), we were able to keep the ball in the park. We didn’t do that this time."

Both St. James and Alabama Christian were eliminated in Class 4A as was Holtville. The Trojans lost in three games to Straughn while ACA was swept by Headland.

Holtville lost in three games at Bibb County.

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