Prep Baseball PREP BASEBALL: Mortimer Jordan ends West Point’s play-off run, 13-5 | The Cullman Tribune

Prep Baseball

PREP BASEBALL: Mortimer Jordan ends West Point’s play-off run, 13-5

A run comes in to score for Mortimer Jordan during the seventh inning of West Point's 13-5 loss to the Blue Devils. (Nick Griffin for The Tribune)

WEST POINT - Game three of West Point’s 2018 AHSAA Baseball 5A State Playoffs round two series with Mortimer Jordan on Saturday was a back-and-forth match-up with a couple of big momentum swings, but after a big fifth inning, the Blue Devils pulled away and advanced to round three with a 13-5 win, ending the Warriors’ season.

The Warriors took an early 1-0 lead in the opening frame on an RBI single from Rylan Jones. After three quick outs in the top of the second, West Point added three more runs on two bases-loaded walks and a hit batter. It was a long inning that not only generated two runs but forced Blue Devils’ starter Griffin Busby to throw a lot of pitches early in the game.

Mortimer Jordan took a chunk out of the Warriors’ lead in the top of the third with a three-run shot over the left-field fence that made it 4-3. It looked like the Blue Devils would add a run in the top of the fourth on a single to left field, but Warriors left fielder Will Cochran gunned down a runner coming home from second to end the inning and save a run. West Point added to its lead in the bottom of the fourth when Cameron Bates brought in a run on a sacrifice fly and took a 5-3 lead into the fifth.

The top of the fifth was where things began to go the wrong way for West Point. Mortimer Jordan made it 5-4 with an infield single and took a 6-5 lead a few pitches later on an RBI single and an error. Two more came in to score for the Blue Devils before Aubrey Cleghorn picked off a runner at first to end the inning. The Warriors were only able to come up with three more hits for the rest of the game and couldn’t push any more runs across against the Blue Devils’ defense.

Mortimer Jordan added two more runs in the sixth and three more in the seventh on its way to a 13-5 final. West Point Head Coach Seth Ward pointed to some errors defensively as one of the biggest factors in Saturday’s loss.

“I thought Kolton (Easterwood) pitched pretty well. He gave up the bomb, but we didn’t really let it snowball until we started kicking it a little bit; we made three of four errors and they’re a momentum team and they took control of the game at that point,” Ward said. “We put a little too much pressure on ourselves in the box, didn’t have great at bats and the story of the game is not playing defense like we should have.”

After finishing the season at 22-15, winning the Cullman County Tournament, making the playoffs for the first time since 2003, and winning the first play-off series in school history, an emotional Ward talked about what this year’s senior class means to him and the Warriors baseball program going forward.

“I’m so proud of this bunch. I knew two years ago they were special and they’ve got the ball rolling. What we’ve got to do is those young guys have got to appreciate what those guys have done; they’ve laid the foundation for what we’re doing, and I love those kids like my own. I hate to see them go. They’ve accomplished so much, and I just couldn’t be any prouder,” Ward said. “This isn’t what we wanted today, no, but it was so much fun every day going to work with those guys. That’s the most enjoyable thing is the appreciation and what they mean to us and what they do for us as far as coming to work and making it such a special, awesome thing to really love what you do. We love those kids, all of us out here we love those kids and we’re so proud of what they’ve done.”

Read about games one and two here:

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