Briarwood sweeps Baldwin County in rain-shortened playoff series

Published 12:41 am Saturday, April 22, 2023

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

NORTH SHELBY – In an untraditional ending to an opening-round series of the playoffs, the Briarwood Lions were able to earn a sweep of Baldwin County at home on Friday, April 21.

The Lions had no problems in game one of the series, pulling away for a 10-run win in a shortened six innings due to the 10-run rule, but game two also finished in the sixth inning with slightly more drama.

After earning a 13-3 win in the opening game of the series, Briarwood clawed its way to a 3-1 lead going to the bottom of the sixth.

Baldwin County had a runner on first with two outs when storms entered the area, causing the game to be put on pause.

Ultimately, that ended up being the end of the game, as rules considered that a complete game, allowing the Lions to finish off the series with a 3-1 victory and the sweep to advance to the second round of the Class 6A playoffs for a showdown with Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa.

It marked an impressive start to the playoffs for the Lions, who stormed out of the gate in game one with three runs in the bottom of the first inning.

Baldwin County had a quick answer in the top of the second with three runs of its own, but the Briarwood defense settled in from there.

The Lions didn’t give up another run the rest of game one and only gave up one more combined between the two games.

Meanwhile, the offense added one in the second to regain the lead in the opening game. Then, the Lions scored three in the fourth and six in the sixth to put the game away.

Drake Meeks was key in the win on the mound, getting the start and striking out six, while allowing three runs on four hits and six walks to earn the win. Samuel Burr came in to finish the top of the sixth and did just that by getting two consecutive outs.

At the plate, Brady Waugh started the postseason with a 4-for-5 game featuring one RBI and two runs scored. Jacob Souders added a 3-for-3 game featuring two RBIs and three runs scored, while Casen Heaps and Samuel Hoff both finished with two hits and two RBIs.

Burr also added two hits and an RBI, while Andrew McAdams and William Clark both finished with one hit and two RBIs. Parker Daniels added one hit and an RBI in a 16-hit performance for the Lions.

The second game was drastically different with a combined four hits between the two teams in another six-inning battle, and all four hits came from the Lions.

Briarwood scored two in the third to take a 2-0 lead, while Baldwin County responded in the fifth with a run to draw within one.

The Lions, however, came back with one in the top of the sixth to add some insurance, which ultimately ended the game.

Briarwood starting pitcher Jonathan Stevens finished the game with a no-hitter despite giving up a run. He allowed one run on seven walks, but gave up no hits and had six strikeouts.

Waugh finished the game with a home run and two RBIs to set the pace at the plate, while Clark finished with two hits and McAdams had one hit.