AHSAA Class 6A baseball state playoffs: Central-Phenix City's pitching dominates as Red Devils reach semifinals with sweep at Enterprise

kprice@ledger-enquirer.comMay 4, 2012 

ENTERPRISE, Ala. -- Central-Phenix City used dominant pitching performances from Jordan Brown and Matt Evenson to sweep past Enterprise 2-1 and 3-1 in the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 6A state quarterfinals Friday night at Donaldson Park.

With the sweep, the Red Devils (31-14) advanced to next week's semifinals. They will travel to face Fairhope.

Brown struck out 12 in the opener, which went eight innings before Central finally took advantage of one of Enterprise's four errors in the game. Evenson did him one better, striking out 13, including striking out the side in the seventh after Central had taken the lead in the bottom of the sixth.

"Matt is a very competitive guy," Central coach Chris Heaps said. "He throws hard. Sometimes he starts to doubt himself. I told our guys, 'Get him a one-run lead and watch him change.'

"Jordan was Jordan tonight. Even when he doesn't have his best stuff, he goes deep in games and gives us a chance to win."

Cody Hughes gave Central a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first in Game 2. Batting leadoff, Hughes hit a long home run to center field.

Enterprise tied the game in the top of the fourth. Evenson walked Christian Davis to lead off the inning. A balk -- one of three called on Evenson -- and a wild pitch allowed Davis to get to third.

Evenson struck out two, but Jared Seay rolled a slow grounder between third and short and beat it out, allowing Davis to score and tied the game at 1-1.

Evenson retired the next six he faced before Clark Quisenberry hit a line drive into left center with two outs in the top of the sixth. He tried to stretch the single and center fielder Jamal Howard threw him out at second base.

Central regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth. Brown got a one-out single, then Cole Jackson on a hit-and-run, singled to right, sending courtesy runner Tanner Davis to third.

Anthony Spivey roped a double to the fence in center field, driving in Davis and Jackson.

"Spivey, he struggled part of

the year, but these last two series, he has been so big for us," Heaps said.

The Red Devils finally took advantage of one of Enterprise's four errors in the opener.

In the top of the eighth, Paul Waldrop got his fourth hit of the game, a single to right field. Brown sacrificed courtesy runner Jonathan Mitchell to second base.

Designated hitter Cole Jackson hit a sinking liner to the left of second baseman Jordan Seay, who made a shoetop catch. Mitchell didn't stray to far and was able to get back to second.

Spivey hit a roller to shortstop Brendan Donovan, who allowed the ball to go through his legs. Mitchell was able to score without a throw for a 2-1 lead.

Brown gave up just five hits. He had two strikeouts in an inning five times, including the 7th and 8th as he retired the last batters he faced.

Enterprise got on the board first in the bottom of the fourth. Donovan led off with a single. After a fly out, Davis pulled a ball down the right-field line for a triple, scoring Donovan.

The Red Devils answered in the top of the fifth. Evenson got a single to left center. Waldrop got his third straight hit, this one a double to the fence in right field. Evenson scored all the way from first.

Friday at Donaldson Park

Game 1

Central 000 010 01--2 7 0

Enterprise 000 100 00--1 5 4

WP--Jordan Brown. LP--Levi Tate. Leading hitters--Central Matt Evenson 1-3; Paul Waldrop 4-4, 2B, RBI; Hank Baker 1-2; Adam Jones 1-3. Enterprise Ryan Brunson 1-4, 2B; Christian Davis 1-3, 3B, RBI.

Game 2

Enterprise 000 100 0--1 4 0

Central 100 002 x--3 6 0

WP--Matt Evenson. LP--Dalton Dalrymple. Leading hitters--Enterprise Tyler Stump 2-4; Jared Seay 1-3, RBI. Central Cody Hughes 2-3, HR, RBI; Jordan Brown 1-3; Cole Jackson 2-3, R; Anthony Spivey 1-3, 2B, 2RBI.

Records--Central 31-14, Enterprise 25-16. Next: Central Class 6A semifinals at Fairhope. Enterprise season over.

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