Madison Academy advanced to the Class 4A state baseball final in Montgomery by beating Haleyville 9-3 in Game 3 of the best-of-three semifinal.
“Haleyville was a tough place to win and I am glad our guys hung in and played 3 games hard to the very end,” Madison Academy coach David Pressley said. “It feels great to being going back to Montgomery again.”
The Mustangs overcame a 3-2 Game 3 deficit against host Haleyville to escape elimination.
“We definitely came up with some big hits along the way in Haleyville,” Pressley said. “The whole lineup contributed at different times which made us a complete team. But it was definitely our pitching depth and defense that allowed us to get out of there with the series win. (Jake) Christa and (Dylan) Murphy were dominant on the mound and we were solid defensively all weekend.”
Madison Academy has plenty of experience playing well in championship settings having won the last three Class 3A titles before moving to 4A this season.
“These guys are ready,” Pressley said. “We will follow our routine for practice and for what they have done while in Montgomery the last few years and see if we can roll into game 1 with a lot of comfortability with playing on that stage again.”
The fifth-ranked Mustangs (29-16) matched up with No. 2 UMS-Wright on Tuesday in Game 1 (after press time) with Game 2 set for today at 4 p.m. and a third game following if necessary.
UMS-Wright swept Hale County, Handley and Tallassee before defeating semifinal opponent Loveless Academy Magnet in three games.
“These players have a winning attitude and expectation and I’m fortunate to coach a group like this and be able to help lead them in the finals along side the other coaches,” Pressley said.
Sparkman finished second in the Class 7A North Regional to advance to the state softball championship tournament in Montgomery.
The Senators beat Hewitt-Trussville in the regional opener and lost to tournament winner Buckhorn before defeating Hewitt-Trussville in the rematch.
Sparkman will open the championship tournament against Baker on Thursday at 9 a.m. Baker beat Foley and Fairhope to win the South Regional.