For The News Courier
Game 2: Madison Academy 3, Sipsey Valley 2
Hurler Greg Lambert (8-5) pitched a complete-game three-hitter, walking five and striking out seven to get the win. Ninth-place batter Will Acuff and Bo McLaughlin keyed two important two-out rallies in the second and fourth innings. McLaughlin’s punch hit to left in the fourth moved the winning run into scoring position and Blake Coward singled to drive in the clinching run. Acuff, who was 2-for-2, drove in the Mustangs’ first two runs in the second inning. McLaughlin added a double and bunt single to finish with three hits.
Losing pitcher Justin Thomas (7-3) went the distance for coach P.J. Guy’s Bears. He scattered nine hits, walked three and struck out five. Thomas and Nate Harcrow each stroked a double, and Brady Holcombe added a single for Sipsey Valley (36-19), which was making its first trip to the state finals.
Game 1: Madison Academy 3, Sipsey Valley 2
Madison Academy (33-13) nipped Sipsey Valley 3-2 in game one of the AHSAA Class 3A State Baseball Championship Series Thursday at Riverwalk Stadium. Game two of the series was underway Thursday night.
Winning pitcher Taylor Clemons (11-1) pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing five hits and two unearned runs. He walked two and struck out one. Jake Christa pitched the final inning, allowing one hit and striking out one to notch his second save of the season.
Cody Mills (8-4) pitched a complete game for Sipsey Valley (36-18). He yielded nine hits and three runs while walking none and striking out four.
Leading coach Mike Good’s Mustangs offensively was lead-off hitter Bo McLaughlin, who had three hits and scored a run. Clemons had an RBI double and Christa had a double, a single and one RBI.
Pacing the Bears was Taylor Duncan, who had two hits and an RBI. Mills doubled and scored one run.
A third game in the series would be played Friday at Paterson Field at 1 p.m. if needed.