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MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Trinity Presbyterian used two big innings to take a 7-0 lead and winning pitcher Brock Stevens did the reat as the Wildcats downed the Panthers 9-2 in game one of the AHSAA Class 3A Baseball Championship Series which opened at Paterson Field Thursday night.
Stevens (8-2), a senior, gave up three hits and struck out nine over six innings before yielding to reliever Zach Reid who gave up one hit and one run in the seventh. Mars Hill starter Glenn Irby (7-4) went five innings to get the loss. J.T. Hudson pitched the final two innings striking out four.
Coach Ken Whittle's defending state champion Wildcats (32-8) and Coach Jay Mitchell's Panthers (32-18) will meet in game two Friday at 4 p.m. at Riverwalk Stadium. Game three, if needed, will follow.
Class 5A and Class 6A open best-of-three series at Paterson Field Friday with Spanish Fort facing Hartselle in the 4 p.m. Class 5A game followed by Pelham and Hewitt-Trussville squaring off in the 6A opener at 7. All games are being web-streamed live over the AHSAA TV Network via its digital partner Play On! Sports.
Trinity took advantage of two hit-by-pitches in the first inning and an RBI single by Trace Johnston to score three runs. The Wildcats increased the lead to 7-0 with four runs in the top of the fifth. Stevens' two-out double started the rally. Robert Adams, who had two hits and three RBIs on the night, singled in two runs and Allen Wood doubled in the other two.
Johnston finished with two hits, Adams had a triple among his hits and Stevens was 3-for-4.
Thomas Burrows and Irby had two hits each for Mars Hill.