State tourney bound

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Shelby Academy baseball coach Mark Windham didn’t want to see the Raiders blow the lead to lose another playoff series.

Thanks to Josh Kervin, he didn’t have to.

Kervin’s single to left field in the bottom of the seventh drove in the winning run to give Shelby the win in the first-round playoff series against Sumter Academy.

The Raiders (16-4-1) clinched the area championship and will head to the AISA Final Four tournament for the first time since Windham became head coach.

Shelby was eliminated last season after giving up late leads to Lakeside in two games.

Windham feared a similar fate in game three of last week’s series against Sumter when an Eagles’ grand slam tied the game at 8 in the top of the seventh.

But Kervin’s RBI-single assured Shelby a spot in this weekend’s double-elimination state tourney.

The Raiders will open play against Southern Academy Thursday at 1 p.m. at Selma’s Bloch Park.

&uot;It’s definitely exciting,&uot; Windham said. &uot;With a two-day tournament like that, I think anybody’s got a shot at winning. One team could get hot and run through it.&uot;

Marcus Jones led Shelby at the plate in the 9-8 win against Sumter in game three. He was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored.

Kevin Lackey, Jason Stokes, Josh Kervin and Josh Sharp each had two hits for the Raiders in the win.

After falling to Sumter, 9-8, in game one, Shelby bounced back to take game two with an 11-0 shutout.

Kervin held the Eagles to one hit in four innings before Jamie McClain came in and struck out the side to clinch the win.

Jake Ingram was 3-for-4 with three RBIs.

Lackey homered twice in game 1