Saturday roundup: Bayside Academy ends Ken Whittle’s HoF career at Trinity

Bayside Academy scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to rally past…

Bayside Academy scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to rally past Trinity 6-5 in Game 3 of their Class 3A playoff series Saturday.

It was a series that featured three one-run games, two of which were decided in extra innings.

“It was unbelievable,” Admirals coach Matt Limbaugh said. “You hated to see anyone lose. It was old-school baseball at its finest.”

Bayside (23-7) advances to play Opp on the road next week in the quarterfinals.

Saturday’s game was the final one in the 43-year career for Trinity coach Ken Whittle, who is already in the AHSAA Hall of Fame. He led the Wildcats to six state championships.

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“Man, it was a pleasure meeting him,” said Limbaugh, in his first year at Bayside. “I’ve heard nothing but great things about his career and what a mark he has left on Alabama baseball. You couldn’t find a nicer guy, and Trinity was such a classy program.”

Bayside built a 4-1 lead early Saturday, before the Wildcats rallied to tie the game in the fourth and took a 5-4 lead in the fifth. The Admirals countered with two runs in the bottom of the sixth to take the lead for good.

Will King and Josh Gunther opened the inning with back-to-back singles. After catcher Robert Rucando grounded into a fielder’s choice, Collins Terry singled up the middle plating the tying and go-ahead runs.

Brett Nestande got the first two outs in the top of the seventh before walking the third batter. However, Rucando threw behind the runner on first for the final out of the series.

“What a crazy way to end it,” Limbaugh said.

Nestande got the win in relief of Terry. He allowed no earned runs and no hits in three innings and struck out three.

Gunther led the offensive attack, going 3-for-4 with a run scored. King was 2-for-4 with a run. Rucando was 1-for-3 with two runs scored. Terry drove in two runs as did Cade Morris.

“That was the best series I’ve ever been a apart of,” Limbaugh said. “It was two good teams going at it. Great pitching, great defense, timely hitting. It had everything happen except a home run. It was the epitome of small ball baseball and definitely fun to be a part.”

CLASS 7A

Sparkman 2, Spain Park 1

Sparkman scored the game-winner in the seventh without getting a hit.

Jack Buening’s two-out bases-loaded grounder was misplayed, scoring Foster Dunn in the final of the best-of-3 series.

The Senators advance to play Florence.

Sparkman’s fortuitous final inning started when Tucker Burns reached on a dropped third strike and was replaced by pinch runner Dunn. A sacrifice and strikeout by Spain Park’s John Robert Thompson was followed by Dunn stealing third and two walks to load the bases.

Buening’s hard grounder ended the game.

It was a pitcher’s duel throughout.

Sparkman’s Patrick Moody earned the complete-game three-hit victory, striking out 10 with no walks while Spain Park’s Eli Copenhaver pitched six innings with five hits, five strikeouts and three walks.

Both teams scored runs in the fourth with the Jaguars getting a sacrifice fly from Wilkins Hunter after Michael Glick doubled curtesy runner John Cooke – catcher Trent Thompson reached on an error – to third, setting up the sacrifice.

Sparkman answered in the bottom of the inning when Ryan Strachan singled home A.J. Causey, who had also singled.

CLASS 6A

Chilton County 1, Saraland 0

Deuntae Childress’ RBI double in the bottom of the first plated Samuel Smith with the only run of the game.

Brady Bolling pitched a complete game, allowing just three hits and striking out four. He walked two batters. Evan Hilliard was nearly as good for the Spartans, going six innings and allowing just four hits. He struck out six and walked three.

Colby Holmes, Trevor Pope and Garrett Weatherby had hits for Saraland.

Chilton County will play Northridge in the Class 6A quarterfinals.

CLASS 5A

Pike Road 10, UMS-Wright 4

Pike Road scored three runs each in the fifth and sixth innings to break a 4-4 tie and eliminate the Bulldogs from the 5A playoffs.

Iverson Hooks was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored for Pike Road. Clay Slagle and Parker Ceman had two hits each.

Will Jordan led UMS with two hits.

Lucas Bagget was the winning pitcher. He allowed four runs on seven hits in 6.2 innings. Logan Shores got the final out.

Seth Farni took the loss for UMS.

Pike Road will play Shelby County next week in the quarterfinals.

2021 AHSAA State Baseball Playoffs

Second-Round Results

Saturday’s “if’ Games

CLASS 1A

Donoho (19-10) 1-3-5, Lindsay Lane (20-12) 2-2-1, (Donoho (19-10) wins series 2-1)

CLASS 2A

Cottonwood (18-7) 3-8-12, Luverne 16-2-2 (Cottonwood (18-7) wins series 2-1)

Ranburne (19-11) 7-2-10, Leroy (23-16) 0-5-0 (Ranburne (19-11) wins series 2-1)

Spring Garden (23-13) 1-13-10), Falkville (23-12) 7-2-9 (Spring Garden (23-13) wins series 2-1)

CLASS 3A

Bayside Academy (23-6) 3-4-6, Trinity Presbyterian (22-9) 2-5-5 (Bayside Academy (25-7) wins series 2-1)

CLASS 4A

Handley (23-10) 4-0-13, Jackson (17-15) 0-9-3 (Handley (23-10) wins series 2-1)

Curry (25-10) 5-5-20, Deshler (24-10) 8-4-19 9 (Curry (25-10) wins series 2-1)

Hamilton (21-14) 2-1-10, West Limestone (28-8) 0-5-9 (Hamilton (21-14) wins series 2-1)

CLASS 5A

Pike Road (25-8) 0-4-10, UMS-Wright (20-10) 4-2-4 (Pike Road (25-8) wins series 2-1)

Holtville (25-11) 0-5-6, Headland (17-8) 1-2-0 (Holtville (25-11) wins series 2-1)

St. Paul’s Episcopal (20-9) 1-4-8, Sipsey Valley (17-12) 3-2-4 (St. Paul’s Episcopal (20-9) wins series 2-1)

Hayden (19-11) 2-4-12, Sardis (19-13) 5-1-6 (Hayden (19-11) wins series 2-1)

Alexandria (23-14) 1-12-11, Ardmore (17-21) 3-6-2 (Alexandria (23-14) wins series 2-1)

Russellville (36-6) 10-3-8, Corner (18-15) 2-8-3 (Russellville (36-6) wins series 2-1)

CLASS 6A

Chilton County (21-13) 7-4-1, Saraland (25-9) 2-8-0 (Chilton County (21-13) wins series 2-1)

Faith Academy (28-5) 1-2-6, Helena (26-9) 2-0-5 (Faith Academy (28-5) wins series 2-1)

Chelsea (27-15) 5-1-7, Cullman (28-13) 4-7-2 (Chelsea (27-15) wins series 2-1)

CLASS 7A

Sparkman (25-11) 4-5-2, Spain Park (26-12) 3-6-1 (Sparkman (25-11) wins series 2-1)