H.A. Rebs win state title
By By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
Saturday, May 19, 2001
HEIDELBERG Before this year, the Heidelberg Academy Rebels had never gotten past the first round of the state baseball playoffs.
This year's squad wouldn't quit until it earned the title state champion.
The Rebels rallied from a one-game deficit to sweep Porter's Chapel 14-4 and 13-2 Friday for the Academy A state championship at Mitch Garvin Memorial Field. Both games were shortened by the run rule.
Heidelberg finished its sixth-straight 20-win season with a 21-5 mark, while Porter's Chapel closed out with a 22-13 record.
Porter's Chapel took the series opener on a two-out homer in the bottom of the eighth inning Tuesday night at Vicksburg.
The Rebels ripped 31 hits in Friday's action.
After racking Porter's Chapel ace Heath Smith for 15 hits in the series opener, the Rebels liked their chances of winning a state championship even though they were one game down.
In the first game Friday, Heidelberg had 17 hits including eight in the fifth inning as the Rebels scored seven times to end the game on the run rule.
Porter's Chapel loaded the bases with one out in the top of the first inning, but Brooks Lewis retired the next two batters to end the inning.
The Rebels got three runs in their half of the first with Derek McKee hitting a two-run single and Matt Culberson adding an RBI-single.
Porter's Chapel got one run in the top of the third on an RBI-single by Trey White.
Culberson doubled and scored on a wild pitch to give the Rebels a 4-1 advantage in the bottom of the third.
Heidelberg added three more runs in the bottom of the fourth with Scott McInnis driving in one with a single and Culberson plating a pair with a double to left field.
The Eagles closed to within 7-4 with a three-run homer by T.J. Smith in the top of the fifth.
The Rebels erupted for seven runs in the bottom of the fifth with McKee having a two-run single, Ryan Aultman a two-run homer, Matthew Andrews an RBI-single, and Blake Bass a two-run double.
Culberson went 3-for-4 to lead Heidelberg. Brent Welch, Bass, Heath Ainsworth, McInnis, McKee, and Andrews each had two hits for the Rebels. All nine Rebel starters had at least one hit for the second game in a row.
Lewis (7-1) got the win, allowing four runs on four hits, four walks, and four hit batsmen. He struck out five.
Trey White (3-6) took the loss.
The second game started much like the first with the Eagles opening the contest with a pair of hits. Lewis, who also got the start in the second game, retired the next three batters on fly balls to end the early threat.
When Lewis tired in the second inning, Culberson (9-1) came on and allowed only one run over the final 4 2/3 innings.
Before the second game was over, the Rebels had jacked five homers off Heath Smith (12-2).
The Rebels struck for five runs in the bottom of the first with Bass hitting a solo homer over the wall in dead center and Aultman adding a grand slam.
Kyle Ehrhardt singled home Josh Rush for a Porter's Chapel run in the top of the second inning.
McInnis put the Rebels up 6-1 in the bottom of the third when he singled and scored on a wild pitch.
Heidelberg added three runs in the fourth with two scoring on a two-run homer by Heath Ainsworth and the third coming when McInnis reached on an error and scored when Smith was called for a balk.
The Eagles got to within 9-2 in the top of the fifth when Walter Bliss reached on a passed ball on a third strike and came home on Rush's fielder's choice.
Welch made it 10-2 with a two-out solo homer to left field in the bottom of the fifth.
The Rebel senior trio of McInnis, McKee, and Culberson ended the game in the bottom of the sixth as McInnis and McKee reached on singles and Culberson belted a three-run homer to left field.
Bass, Ainsworth, McInnis, McKee, Culberson, and Aultman each had two hits for Heidelberg.
Ehrhardt and White both had two hits for Porter's Chapel. The Eagles stranded 20 baserunners in the doubleheader.
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at email@example.com.