2 and out for Titans: WAP falls to Abbeville, No.1 seed Jackson
SELMA – After taking a disastrous 18-8 loss in their first round pairing of the AISA baseball Final Four Thursday, the West Alabama Prep Titans found themselves in a familiar position against a very familiar opponent, but unfortunately the end result was also all too familiar for the titans as they end their season going two-and-out for the second consecutive year.
The Titans battled from behind twice in their first game with the Abbeville Generals to get within two runs, but would give up eight runs in the bottom of the sixth and allow the ten-run rule to come into effect.
The Generals got off to a good start against senior starting pitcher Kevin May, as they would take an early 2-0 lead after the first inning, then take on four more in the second to make it a 6-0 game.
“We fell apart defensively,” WAP head coach Walker Reynolds said.
But the Titans would not fold, and would slowly turn things around in the third inning as Nick Laduron picks up the Titans first run of the game on a passed ball at third to make it a 6-1 game.
May would turn things around as well in the third with his performance on the mound as he retired the next three out of four Generals to keep the game at 6-1. And with a little momentum on their side, the Titans began their first rally of the game in the fourth to make it a 6-4 game.
Walton Luckie would rip a stand-up double to begin the fourth inning that was followed by a Michael Bozeman single to left. Shawn Singleton would score Luckie with a RBI single to close the gap to within four. Joe Magro would then triple and then score on a passed ball to pull to within two.
But the Generals wanted more and would answer back in the bottom of the fourth with four more runs to put the lead back to six. In the fifth, the Titans would rally again, and would again pull to within two at 10-8. But in the sixth the Generals would lower their biggest and baddest bomb of the game (the squeeze play), on the Titans for the kill to pull out the 18-8 victory.
“They saw that they could make that squeeze play work for them and they stuck with it,” Reynolds said. “That’s good coaching.”
May would finish the game going four innings earning 3K’s, while giving up 10 runs on six hits with seven walks. The Generals would bunt five times in the sixth inning alone, scoring four runs.
Luckie would lead the Titans at the plate going 2-for-4 with two doubles and 4RBIs. May and Magro would follow Luckie, as May went 2-for-4 with two singles and Magro went 2-for-3 with a triple and 2RBIs.
In game two the Titans would face off with the Jackson Academy Eagles for a back-and-fourth game with five lead changes that unfortunately witnessed the Eagles take the final lead to win 5-4.
After trailing 4-3 through three innings, the Titans would load the bases with two outs in the top of the sixth for shortstop Shane Hilchey, who would get an RBI single to tie it at 4-4. But Eagles pitcher Lee Evans would end the inning getting May to ground out to second with the bases loaded.
The Titans would keep things tied at 4-4 in the bottom of the sixth and come to the plate in the seventh with a chance to advance out of the losers bracket to play on Friday. But Evans would get the first two Titans batters to fly out before striking out the third batter in a one, two, three inning for the Eagles.
But it would be Jackson’s Johnny Nickels who would be the star of this game, as he ripped a RBI single up the middle with the bases loaded and two outs to win the game for the Eagles in the bottom of the seventh.