John Mark Cosby turns on a Marengo offering during last week's playoff game.

After dispatching familiar foe Marengo, ’Cats meet new foe Abbeville

Published 10:00am Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The letters E and A loom large when put side-by-side on an Alabama Independent School Association baseball tournament bracket, and first-year coach Ashley Carlisle and his Generals are ready for the challenge.


“We’ve got a monumental task in front of us,” said the Abbeville Christian coach. “I’m telling the boys to go out there and compete. The one thing I’m really stressing to my boys is watch how they do things, but don’t be in awe. They are the same age as you are.”


The Generals, who upended Jackson Academy 2-1 in the first round of the AISA Class A playoffs will travel to Elmore Wednesday afternoon for a twinbill with top-ranked Edgewood. Game times are 3:30 and 5.


“They are 15-6 and we don’t know much about them,” said Bobby Carr, coach of the Wildcats. “And that makes them dangerous.”


The Wildcats (40-3 on the year) are coming off a first-round sweep of Marengo Academy (14-1, 13-0).


“I thought our pitching was really sharp — Gage (Pregno) and Bailey (Hansen) both. And we had some guys swing the bat and that’s what it takes to win. Our kids know it’s our time and I think everybody turned it up a notch.”


Offensively, the Wildcats pounded out 12 hits in both games while holding the Longhorns to a combined five.


Edgewood batted above .450 as a team in both games. Heath Young (three hits) Rod Boykin and Hansen (two each) led the Wildcats in the first game.


Young paced the Wildcats in the second game with five RBIs and was a home run away from hitting for the cycle.


John Mark Cosby singled and pushed two runs home in the win. Dylan Ingram, Taylor Hawthorne and Hunter Glenn added hits for Edgewood.


Pregno, who will pitch at Samford University in 2014, threw a Game 2 one-hitter while striking out 13.


Hansen fanned six, while facing 19 batters.


For Wednesday’s AISA Class A semifinal game, it will be the first time the Wildcats and Generals have tangled in almost a decade.


“They are young and we don’t get to play them a whole lot, but evidently they are doing something right,” Carr said.


Carr will keep the same rotation as last week with Hansen (8-0, with a 1.78 ERA) throwing the first game and then catching Pregno (9-2 with a .89 ERA) in the second game.


With that said, Carlisle is trying to figure out who he’s going to run out to the mound.


Edgewood, which is playing Class A for the first time, is bringing its Class AA legacy with it.


“I asked Bobby if he was  going to turn his program into a minor league affiliate,” said Carlisle. “You look at what they’ve done and it’s like we are lining up to go play the Yankees.”


“I haven’t made up my mind on our pitching yet,” said Carlisle. “We don’t have the one dominant pitcher. We’ve got kids that can throw the ball pretty good. Alex Robinson (senior) is one of my better pitchers. Then we’ve got Dakota Hudson and Caleb Flowers that we can run out there, too.”


The winner of Wednesday’s semifinal series will advance to play the Lakeside/Patrician winner May 7 at Paterson Field.


“Our guys know the next game on the schedule is Abbeville,” said Carr. “We want to go out and take care of business here before we start focusing on Paterson Field.”


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