Briarwood baseball headed to postseason
By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Writer
NORTH SHELBY— The Briarwood Christian Lions baseball team sewed up a berth in the AHSAA Class 5A baseball playoffs with a 3-1 win over John Carroll April 8.
The Lions rode the arm of Ethan Simmons, who dominated the Cavaliers on the mound, posting 11 strikeouts over seven innings.
The Lions jumped out on the Cavaliers early, scoring all three of their runs in the bottom of the first. Brayden Housel singled to lead off the inning, advancing to second on a single by Jake Morris.
Simmons then doubled to center, scoring Housel to take the 1-0 lead. Morris later scored on a wild pitch, and Andrew Schaper (courtesy running for Simmons) scored on a Jake Bracewell sacrifice fly to put the Lions up 3-0.
Simmons then went into shutdown mode, locking up the Cavalier batters through the remaining frames. His only blemish came in the third, when Cavalier pitcher Matt Cerfolio scored on an error.
Neither team scored again, and the Lions moved into the playoffs with the 3-1 win.
While Simmons handled John Carroll on the mound, Morris took care of business at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a run. Bracewell and Simmons notched the only Lion RBIs.
While the Lions are assured a spot in the postseason, there remains an unsettled matter regarding the Class 5A, Area 7 championship. After the win, the Lions find themselves in a dead heat with Homewood for the title. With a win over John Carroll on April 11 and a Homewood win over Ramsay on April 10, the two squads will square off in a rubber match on April 12 to decide the area champion.
If the matchup occurs, the Lions head into the game having been eliminated from last year’s playoff at the hands of the Patriots, while Homewood heads into the contest having lost the last matchup against Briarwood.
For updates on the Area 7 race, check back with Shelbycountyreporter.com.