MONTGOMERY, AL -- Charles Henderson defeated Brooks in game one of the Class 4A series and St. Luke’s blanked Shoals Christian to take the Class 1A series opener in the AHSAA State Baseball Championships Wednesday at Montgomery’s Paterson Field.
The two series conclude Thursday at Riverwalk Stadium with St. Luke’s and Shoals Christian squaring off at 10 a.m. (and 1 p.m. if needed) and Charles Henderson and Brooks playing again at 4 p.m. (and 7 p.m. if needed).
Two more championship series get underway Thursday at Paterson Field. G.W. Long meets Westbrook Christian in the Class 2A series opener at 4 p.m. and Trinity Presbyterian faces Mars Hill Bible in the Class 3A opener at 7 p.m.
Class 4A Championship Series
Game 1: Charles Henderson 7, Brooks 4
Leadoff hitter Hunter Baggett stole home to score Charles Henderson’s first run and finished with three runs scored and two stolen bases as the Trojans won game one of the Class 4A series.
The Lions (45-10) overcame the steal of home with two runs in the top of the second and one in the third to take a 3-1 lead but couldn’t overcome five errors in the field and the Trojans’ timely hitting.
Houston Mabray (11-1) turned in a bulldog performance on the mound for Charles Henderson, scattering nine hits and striking out four. Coach Derek Irons’ Trojans scored three runs in the bottom of the third and three in the bottom of the fourth to take a 7-3 lead and Mabray shut out the Lions over the last two innings.
Baggett finished with one hit and three runs scored while first baseman Joey Denison had three hits including two doubles and two RBIs. Catcher Chase Smartt added two hits and two RBIs.
Paden Smith (9-1) hurled all six innings for Coach Todd Nelms’ Lions. He gave up nine hits but just two earned runs and struck out four. Center fielder Drake Tucker had three hits and two RBIs and DH Skyler Beck collected two hits and drove in one run.
Class 1A Championship Series
Game 1: St. Luke’s 6, Shoals Christian 0
St. Luke’s Episcopal junior left-hander Brandon Cook shut out defending state champion Shoals Christian as the Wildcats posted a 6-0 win to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three Class 1A series.
Cook (8-3) scattered eight hits and walked one but didn’t record a strikeout. He kept the Flame hitters off stride and the St. Luke’s defense turned two double plays to help seal the victory.
Senior first baseman Murphy Mostellar was 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs to pace St. Luke’s (31-8) to its ninth playoff win a row. Coach Tim Becker’s Wildcats also got two hits each from center fielder Justin Ware and third baseman Danny Haskell.
Christian Shipe (7-5) allowed 10 hits but just two earned runs and took the loss. He struck out five and walked just one for the Flame (27-14). Shipe and shortstop Tanner Traglia had two hits each.