• 66°
franklin county times

Heidelberg Rebs complete sweep of Kemper Rams

By By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
May 4, 2001
HEIDELBERG n The Heidelberg Academy Rebels turned 11 hits and 13 walks into 16 runs in a 16-3 Academy A South State series-clinching win over Kemper Academy Thursday afternoon at Mitch Gavin Memorial Field.
Not that Kemper didn't start out hot. After getting just three hits in Tuesday's 5-1 loss at DeKalb in the series opener, the Rams got leadoff singles from Wade Whitaker and Dereck Calvert to start the game.
Both moved up when Calvert's hit was misplayed in left field.
Sacrifice flies from Ty Harbour and Josh McCarty staked the Rams to an early 2-0 lead.
The Rebels got those runs back plus interest in the bottom of the first as Heidelberg crossed the plate six times.
Brent Welch and J.R. Stephenson drew walks off Harbour to start the inning and Heath Ainsworth followed with a towering three-run blast to left field to give the Rebels a lead they would not relinquish.
Scott McInnis continued the inning when his high fly ball to right field fell for a double. McInnis took third on a stray throw back to the infield. After a walk to Derek McKee, Matt Culberson followed with a two-run single.
The Rebels extended their lead to 8-2 with a three-run second frame. Matthew Andrews led off with a walk and Welch and Stephenson singled to load the bases. A double down the third base line by Ainsworth drove in two runs and McInnis made it 8-2 with a sacrifice fly.
Kemper got one run back in the top of the fourth as Matthew Johnson singled and went to second when the ball was overrun in center field. After Justin Robertson reached on an infield error, back-to-back walks to Bo Harper and Kyle Davis forced in a run.
Brooks Lewis retired the next two batters to end the threat.
The Rebels broke the game open with eight runs in the bottom of the fifth. Ryan Aultman launched a three-run homer to left field with Stephenson adding a grand slam. Culberson also had an RBI-single in the frame.
Lewis (6-1) went six innings to get the win. He struck out nine and walked four while allowing all three Kemper hits.
Ainsworth went 3-for-5 with a double and a homer and drove in five runs for the Rebels. Culberson went 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs. Stephenson went 2-for-3 with a homer and four RBIs. Welch and Stephenson both scored three runs.
The Rebels improved to 17-4 and extended their win streak to 14 games. It's the first South State championship for the Rebels in school history.
Kemper got a single apiece from Whitaker, Calvert, and Johnson. The Rams finished 12-8.
Harbour took the loss, giving up 11 runs off nine hits and eight walks in four-plus innings.
Next up for Heidelberg is a best-of-three series with Rossville (Tenn.). That series will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday with the site to be determined by a coin flip today at the MPSA headquarters. Rossville took two games Thursday from DeSoto (Ark.) by identical 5-4 scores.
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at mstamper@themeridianstar.com.

x