Eagles fall in extra innings

Decatur Heritage lose 7-6 in Game one of the 2A State Baseball Finals
Tyler Founds (4) scores a run, celebrates with Cole O' Brien (5). The Eagles lost in extra...
Tyler Founds (4) scores a run, celebrates with Cole O' Brien (5). The Eagles lost in extra innings 7-6 to G.W. Long in Game One of the Class 2A State Baseball Finals.(WAFF)
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 9:55 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - G.W. Long High School worked overtime to win the first game of the Class 2A baseball championship series Wednesday at Oxford’s Choccolocco Park signature baseball field.    Brant Brady reached on an error in the ninth inning, moved to second on a sacrifice, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on Brody Walker’s single to lift the Rebels to a 7-6 victory over Decatur Heritage Christian Academy in game 1 of the best-of-three AHSAA Class 2A championship series Wednesday. Walker retired Decatur Heritage in order in the ninth to secure the victory.     

The second game will be played at 10 a.m., Thursday at Rudy Abbott Field/Jim Case Stadium on the campus of Jacksonville State University. Game 3, if needed, will follow 30 minutes after completion of Game 2. All games in each AHSAA State Baseball Championship Series is being live-streamed over the NFHS Network and live over the AHSAA TV Network with WOTM TV and Vince Earley producing the contests.  G.W. Long has won 16 AHSAA baseball titles – the most in AHSAA history – and is one win away from its first title since winning three in a row from 2017-19.      

The Rebels (33-8), coached by Drew Miller, trailed Decatur Heritage (30-10) for most of the game Wednesday, but tied it at 4-4 in the sixth. The teams finished the regulation seven innings still tied at 4-all and finished the eighth inning tied 6-all before the Rebels took the lead in the top of the ninth. Cullis Kelly’s two-out RBI single tied the game at 4-all in the sixth inning for the Rebels. G.W. Long took its first lead in the top of the eighth inning, at 6-4, on Trevor Morris’ two-out, two-run single, but the Rebels left the bases loaded. Mac Hurst answered in the bottom of the eighth with a two-out, two-run single for the Eagles, coached by Steve Meek, to tie the game again.      

That set the stage of Walker’s game-clinching plays in the ninth inning.      Mac Hurst finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs for Decatur Heritage. Nash Rippen scored twice to go with a hit and two walks. For Long, Blaine McDaniel had one hit and three RBIs, Morris had a double and two RBIs, and Walker finished with two hits. Jack Chancey started and pitched 7 1/3 innings for the Rebels allowing six hits and striking out eight. Walker came in to relieve him in the eighth inning and yielded one hit and no runs while striking out one to get the win. Cole O’Brien came in relief in the third inning for Decatur Heritage and went the rest of the way, allowing five hits, five runs and striking out two over the final seven innings but suffered the loss.     

All Baseball Championship Series are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network and AHSAA TV Network with WOTM TV producing the series. The State Softball Championship games will also be live-streamed by the NFHS Network.     The Class 2A and 5A championship series’ will finish Thursday at Jacksonville State, while game one for Class 1A and 6A is scheduled for Choccolocco Park.

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