AHSAA 3A Baseball playoffs (2nd round)
At Hanceville Ball Field:
Phil Campbell 2 0 0 1 2 3 3 - 11 (31-7)
Hanceville 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 - 3 (15-10)
WP: Ridge Raper
LP: Adam Cooper
TIME OF GAME: 2:26
SPORTSPAGE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Ridge Raper - Phil Campbell 5.2 innings, 3 runs, 6 hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks, 2-4, 2B, 3 RBIs.
FLASH NOTES: Late inning scoring was part of the process again in this playoff series, like it was in Game 2 Friday night.
But this time, the late inning outburst came by Phil Campbell, not Hanceville.
The Bulldogs were right on the heels of the Bobcats, down 3-1 heading to the fifth. Then two costly errors by Hanceville allowed Phil Campbell to put two on the board in the inning and set the tone of putting the game out of reach.
Raper's fly ball down the right field line was dropped, resulting in a run scored. Raper then moved to third on a single by Mason Sweeney.
Sweeney took off for second as a throw from behind the plate sailed wide with Raper easily coming in to score. Phil Campbell went up 5-1.
A three-run sixth and a three-run seventh was courtesy of six hits in the final two innings by the visitors. Raper rapped a run-scoring double after Rilen Garrison singled in a run. The third run was thanks to a sacrifice fly to left by Ty Leindecker.
Two of the Bobcats' runs in the seventh were bases loaded walks. Garrison and Raper were credited with RBIs as Hanceville pitching went through a series of inconsistency and the Bobcats had a huge lead that was too much to overcome.
A bright note in the finale for Michael Chandler's Bulldogs was Alex Campbell two for three with two doubles, a run batted in and a run scored.
The Bulldogs collected seven hits on the afternoon, but were stymied by Raper's pitching in which he allowed Hanceville one hit from the third through the fifth and retired eight in a row.
Phil Campbell goes on to the quarterfinals and will host Winfield next weekend.
Hanceville was in the playoffs for the first time since 2016 and on to the Round of 16 for the first time in four years.
The Bulldogs played back to back three-game series in the playoffs, winning Game 3 in Glencoe on Tuesday by the score of 18-6 to send them to the second round.
Hanceville gained a split in the series Friday evening with Phil Campbell, winning 12-7, thanks to eight runs in the final three innings after they went to the top of the fifth down by the score of 6-4.
6A: Cullman 14, Pell City 3 (Cullman wins series 2-1)
Cullman at Hazel Green in quarterfinals May 3-4, TBA
AHSAA 3A Baseball playoff series (2nd round)
At Hanceville Ball Field:
Phil Campbell 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 - 4 (30-6)
Hanceville 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 0 (14-9)
WP: Nate Owens
LP: Kainan Cruce
TIME OF GAME: 1:53
SPORTSPAGE PLAYER OF GAME: Nate Owens - Phil Campbell 7 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 3 BBs, 6 Ks.
Hanceville 0 1 3 0 4 1 3 - 12 (15-9)
Phil Campbell 0 3 2 1 1 0 0 - 7 (30-7)
WP: Ephrium Milne
LP: Austen Baker
TIME OF GAME: 2:28
SPORTSPAGE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Ephrium Milne - Hanceville 4 innings, 2 runs, 2 hits, 1 BB, 4 Ks, 1-1, 3B, RBI, run scored.
FLASH NOTES: For the second time this week in the postseason, the Hanceville Bulldogs went down 1-0 in the series and experienced a shutout.
Glencoe handcuffed the Bulldogs 10-0 in Game 1 Monday with Phil Campbell keeping them off stride in the opener Friday afternoon, managing just one hit vs. left hander Nate Owens.
But Game 2 of this series, like the previous round had Hanceville taking advantage of opportunities.
The Bulldogs shook off the effects of going down 6-4 following the fourth inning when a four-run tally in the fifth gave them the lead they would keep for the rest of the way.
A sac fly by Tate Brown scored Ashton James, who started the fifth by reaching base when the left fielder dropped his fly ball down the line. Matthew Cornelius doubled down the left field line scoring Mark Dyer, a sac fly from TJ Kubia scored Alex Campbell and Milne tripled to right field, sending home Cornelius that made it 8-6.
Giving up a run in the Phil Campbell fifth, the Bulldogs resumed scoring in their side of the sixth with two outs when Dyer doubled to left and scampered home on a solid single to center by Alex Campbell.
Milne began to find rhythm on the mound. After a triple from Trey Leindecker and Leindecker crossing home on a wild pitch, Milne set down the next eight batters.
Retiring the Bobcats in order in the sixth enabled Hanceville to step to the plate in the seventh and deliver three important insurance runs.
Cornelius opened the seventh with a single then moved to second on a ground out by Kubia. Milne dropped down a bunt that produced a throwing error, scoring Cornelius. A double into the gap in left center by Zach Campbell drove home Milne to make it 11-7.
Issac Holmes followed with a run scoring single and the Bulldogs went to the bottom of the inning up by a 12-7 advantage.
After two quick outs, the Bobcats stayed alive on a single, a hit batsman and a walk to load the bases.
Coach Michael Chandler had replaced Milne, a freshman with another freshman, Drew Campbell.
Campbell was able to retire Owens on a fly to Kubia in right field at 10:15 p.m.
This game featured 19 runs on 18 hits, with both combining to leave 18 runs on base and both using four pitchers.
After getting six hits through the first four frames, the Bobcats could only manufacture two hits in the final two innings, not able to score and ending the game leaving the bases loaded.
It comes down to Game 3 Saturday at 3:00 p.m. with the winner to move on to the quarterfinals next weekend.
The game will be carried live on WKUL-FM (92.1)
6A: Pell City 4-3 over Cullman in G 1, Cullman 7-1 in G2
G3 Saturday at Cullman 2:00
3A: Westminster Christian over Vinemont 15-5, 16-6
6A: Gardendale over Hartselle 4-2, 3-2
3A: Winfield over Sylvania 6-4, 9-4
1A: Spring Garden over Falkville 11-0, 13-0
4A: Haleyville over DAR 4-2, 12-0
2A: Decatur Heritage over Sumiton Christian 13-11, 14-4
AHSAA 3A, Area 11 Baseball
At Hanceville Ball Field:
Vinemont 0 0 0 0 2 2 1 - 5 (10-8. 2-1)
Hanceville 1 1 4 2 0 2 X - 10 (11-3, 3-0)
WP: Mark Dyer
LP: Wyatt Thompson
TIME OF GAME: 2:24
SPORTSPAGE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Mark Dyer - Hanceville, 5 innings, 2 runs, 0 hits, 5 BBs, 11 Ks.
FLASH NOTES: With the top spot in 3A, Area 11 up for grabs between the two county foes, Hanceville has a 1-0 lead in the series following its triumph Tuesday afternoon.
Timely hits included a run-scoring single in the first from Ashton James, an RBI single in the second by Richard Cooper, Tate Brown with a run producing single and an RBI single by Zach Campbell during the third.
By the end of the third, Hanceville was ahead 6-0 with Dyer pitching well in striking out the side in the first three innings and having 9 Ks going to the fourth.
But Dyer experienced control problem in the fourth, walking the bases loaded. A couple of strikeouts and a ground out to Dyer at the mound was enough to bail the Bulldogs out of trouble.
Hanceville moved the lead to 8-0 on two runs scoring in the fourth, as the Bulldogs used the running game to take advantage of a couple of Vinemont errors.
Then the shutout went off the scoreboard in the Vinemont fifth. Clay Rogers was hit by a pitch, Travis Hopper walked then after a fly out, the Bulldogs bobbled Issac Smith's grounder to short with Rogers coming in. A pickoff move to first enabled Hopper to score from second as the throw by Dyer got by the first baseman.
Andrew Campbell was called in to relieve Dyer in the sixth for Hanceville. Hopper got the first hit of the game for the Eagles, a one out double. Smith produced an infield single that scored Rogers and a throwing error on a stolen base by Hopper, allowed him to score and cut the deficit to 8-4.
Insurance runs came for Hanceville in the Bulldogs' 6th. Issac Holmes received a walk off reliever Zander Noblett, James followed with a single. Both moved up a base on a sacrifice bunt from Dyer. Josh Campbell singled to center, scoring Holmes and a wild pitch brought in James and a 10-4 lead for the home team.
Vinemont managed to plate a run in the seventh, producing three hits off Campbell. James Samples had a single to begin the frame and would score on a two out base hit by Rogers. The game ended at 6:50 p.m. when Campbell got Hopper on a breaking pitch for a called third strike, the 13th of the game for Hanceville pitching.
James and Brown both delivered two hits for the Bulldogs, who are 3-0 in area play. Hanceville accounted for nine hits in the contest.
Up next for Hanceville: At Vinemont Wednesday 4:30/6:30 p.m.
Photo 1: Hanceville's Issac Holmes gets hit by a pitch in the 1st inning Tuesday.
Photo 2: Vinemont's Clay Rogers swings in the 1st of Tuesday's 3A, Area 11 game.
Sportspage photos by Johnny Thornton