Jolly fans 15 batters; BA rallies past ACCS

Published 6:34 pm Monday, April 19, 2010

On Senior Night, Brookhaven Academy pitcher Tripp Jolly feltenergized. The senior right-hander struck out 15 batters in sixinnings of relief Friday night as the Cougars rallied past theAdams County Christian School Rebels 6-5.

“I felt like I could throw 300 pitches tonight,” said Jolly whoraised his record to 5-1 on the season. “I felt confident throwingmy breaking ball. I felt good.” He is one of five senior starterson BA’s playoff bound squad.

Jolly, a standout wide receiver on BA’s undefeated state championfootball team last season, could play both sports at MillsapsCollege. He scattered six hits and allowed only one walk; it wasintentional.

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Jolly replaced sophomore starter Bubba Keene with no outs in thethird and the Rebels leading 4-1. After giving up a check-swing,RBI single to Johnny Smith, Jolly struck out the next threebatters.

“I’m very happy to win,” said BA first-year coach Casey Edwards.His team had edged Hillcrest Christian in extra innings Thursdaynight.

“I told our guys that last night and tonight was a sample of whatwe will see in the (state) playoffs,” Edwards noted. “We had ourbacks to the wall. We needed to see how we would react.”

Edwards carries his Cougars to River Oaks in Monroe, La., Tuesdaynight for the opening game of the MAIS Class AA playoffs. Thesecond and third games of the best-of-three series are tentativelyscheduled for Friday night on BA’s well-manicured diamond.

Facing a 5-1 deficit to ACCS, the Cougars clawed their way backinto contention. They realized a 5-5 deadlock in the seventh. Keenebeat out a chopper to third base, stole second base and scored onJolly’s RBI smash up the middle.

In the eighth, ACCS sophomore starter Jake Brumfield was liftedwith the bases loaded and replaced by Johnny Smith. With one out,BA’s Jacob Phillip had beaten out a grounder to deep short. DanColeman singled to left field and Matthew Evans coaxed a walk toload the bases.

Keene hit a dribbler to the pitcher and Smith threw to his catcherfor a force at home plate. Hoping to turn a double play,Christopher Perry threw to first base but hit Keene on his rightshoulder and the ball bounced into foul territory. Coleman sprintedhome with the winning run.

“It was a fun game to watch but a tough game for us,” said ACCSthird-year head coach Hunter McKaivier. “I was proud of my pitcher(Brumfield). He was way high in his pitch count but it took an actof congress to get him off the mound.”

Brumfield (4-4) didn’t issue a base on balls. He struck out sevenbatters and allowed 15 hits.

The Rebels (11-13, 6-6) trailed Central Private and Centreville inthe District 5-AA race. They have two seniors on the team in firstbaseman Colin Dollar and centerfielder/leadoff batter Bryce Murraywho had three hits in the loss.

Murray led off the game with a single and Perry greeted Keene witha homer down the right field line. BA scored its first run on anopposite field single by Phillip, sending home courtesy runnerLandon Nettles.

The Rebels increased their 2-1 lead with three runs in the third.Jake Brumfield and Perry had RBI singles and ACCS led 5-1.

In the third, Keene collected his second double of the game,smashing the ball off the center field wall. That ignited a 3-runrally as Jolly hit an RBI single to left. Hunter Franklin lashed a2-RBI single over the third base bag and it was 5-4.