Courtesy AHSAA, MONTGOMERY – Helena High School built a four-run lead thanks to the clutch pitching of junior Landon Green in final game three of the AHSAA Class 6A State Baseball Championship Series at Riverwalk Stadium Friday, and then managed to hold at the end to win 5-4.
Helena forced game three with a dramatic 3-2 win in game two Friday morning at Riverwalk Stadium thanks to another strong pitching performance by Troy Cordrey in game two. The Huskies (38-6), coached by P.J. Guy, fell behind 1-0 after one inning in the finale, but tied the game in the top of the fourth when Nick Ragsdale scored on a Cullman error.
In the bottom of the inning, Green (11-0) turned the momentum in a big way by striking out the Bearcats’ No. 3, 4 and 5 hitters on nine pitched strikes. Helena then rallied for four runs in the top of the fifth to build a 5-1 lead. Riley Davis, Sam Praytor and Brooks Brophy each got hits and then the wheels fell off Cullman’s defense as two wild pitches and an infield error led to the four runs.
Green, who pitched 6 2/3 innings allowing just two hits and striking out five, ran into trouble in the bottom of the seventh hitting three batters as Coach Brent Patterson’s Bearcats (38-9) scored a run and loaded the bases. Reliever Brooks Brophy walked the first two batters he faced to make it a one-run game, but he got Carter Bowen to fly out to deep left for third out to end the game.
Cordrey, who earned MVP honors, had one RBI in the third game. Davis and Green each had two hits. Lovell had an RBI single and Grayson Taylor stroked a double to pace Cullman.
In first game Friday at Riverwalk, Cullman took the lead 2-0 in the top of the fourth on Carter Bowen’s two-run single. Helena got a run back in the bottom of the inning and tied the game in the sixth. Left fielder Nick Ragsdale doubled to left to lead off the bottom of the seventh for the Huskies. Pinch runner Lawson Peoples got to third on a sacrifice by Brandon Moss and scored the winning run on pinch hitter Colton Hood’s fielder’s choice to end the game and give Helena its first state baseball title in AHSAA history.
Cordrey (11-2) hurled a three-hitter and struck out six to get the win for the Huskies. Will Morris (10-1) pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowed four hits and also struck out six for the Bearcats.