E.A. Sports Today

Donoho denied

Falcons bid to return to state championship series ends in semifinal sweep by Lindsay Lane; Piedmont learns finals foe

By East Alabama Sports Today

ATHENS – A big part of Donoho’s success throughout the baseball season had been its pitching and defense, but in the biggest series of the year it came up a little short.

The Falcons’ bid to return to the state championship series and win a state title that eluded them last year ended Wednesday when they were swept by Lindsay Lane 4-3 and 11-1.

The Lions reached Donoho ace Slade Haney for four runs and seven hits over five innings in the opener and scored 11 runs on 12 hits in the nightcap. Haney brought an 0.64 season ERA into the game and hadn’t allowed an earned run in three previous play-off starts.  

“We knew going into the game they were a good team,” Donoho coach Steve Gendron said. “We knew who they were going to throw; we had a game plan in place. I thought we hit the lefty not bad in Game One.

“Our bread and butter all year has been pitching and defense. On defense, we were timid, made some mistakes on plays we normally make. We got hit around a little bit in Game Two, but you almost had a sense we weren’t in the game from the get-go.”

That could have been a residual of the first game. The Falcons scored their first two runs on RBI doubles by Haney and Lucas Elliott and tied the game on a passed ball in the fourth, but the Lions took the lead in the fifth and Lions pitcher Ray Anderson finished off his complete game without incident.

“We should’ve won Game One and I think their team would probably say the same thing,” Gendron said. “We had every opportunity to win the game, but we made a couple defensive mistakes and we had a balk that was costly. It’d be a different series if we win the first game. I didn’t think they had a Game 3 pitcher and we did.”

But the Falcons never got to it.

The Lions completed the sweep by scoring runs in each of the first two innings, then breaking it open with five in the third. Donoho scored its only run in the nightcap on Peyton Webb’s sacrifice fly in the fourth.

“I told them after the game every round you’re supposed to face a better team,” Gendron said. “We knew they were a good team. Win Game One, it’s a giant momentum game for you.

“I told them after the game there are so many teams that never get to where we’re at today, don’t take it for granted … They accomplished a lot this year. A lot of guys did a lot of really good things. This senior class has left a lasting impact on Donoho, the school and the baseball program.”

Piedmont plays …: The North 3A champion Bulldogs learned the opponent for their championship series when Trinity Presbyterian toppled Thomasville 12-4 in their Game 3. Trinity never trailed in the game and broke it open with six in the seventh inning. The teams open their series at 7 p.m. Monday at Jacksonville State.

Game 1
Donoho                  101 100 0 – 3   5 3
Lindsay Lane       111 010 x – 4 10 1
WP: Ray Anderson. LP: Slade Haney. 2B: Slade Haney (D), Lucas Elliott (D), Alexander Cook (L), Samuel Hogue (L).

Game 2
Lindsay Lane       115 004 – 11 12 2
Donoho                  000 100 –   1   4 2
WP: Micah Perkins. LP: Blake Sewell. 2B: Jackson Carter (L), Samuel Hogue (L). 3B: Max Morrison (L)

Bayshore Christian at Sweet Water
Lindsay Lane 4-11, Donoho 3-1
Ariton 3-8, G.W. Long 7-7 (Game 3 Friday)
Decatur Heritage 11-12, Mars Hill 16-2 (Game 3 Friday)
Trinity Presbyterian 2-13-12, Thomasville 7-3-4
Piedmont 0-16-8, Phil Campbell 10-9-3
Mobile Christian 7-14, Gordo 5-1
Etowah 5-3, Hamilton 4-0
Holtville 4-7, Headland 2-2
Russellville 4-13, Mdaison Academy 9-10 (Game 3 Friday)
Pelham at Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa
Hazel Green at Hartselle
Auburn at Central-Phenix City
Vestavia Hills at Hewitt-Trussville

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