Cougars look to challenge Lowndes

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 14, 2005

A senior laden and experienced Lowndes Academy spent the majority of the season ranked in the Alabama Sports Writers Association's AISA Top Ten.

Crenshaw Christian Academy's youthful and unheralded baseball team will look to steal the Rebels' spotlight today when the two teams meet in the Class A Semifinals in Selma.

Top-seeded Lowndes (24-6) and fourth-seeded CCA (22-6) have met once this season in Luverne, with the Rebels taking an 8-0 win. However, Cougars' head coach Roland Jones said his team was coming off a region contest doubleheader against Lakeside. Jones said he was unable to throw No. 1 pitcher Bryan Brasington against the Rebels that game.

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"We just need to focus on ourselves," said Jones. "And do the things we need to do right."

Jones is also hoping Lowndes' unfortunate run of bad luck in the state tournament continues. Thursday's game marks the Rebels' third straight appearance in the AISA Final Four. On each of the prior two occasions, Lowndes was knocked out after only two games.

Brasington and the CCA pitching staff will go up against top seniors Eric St. Cin and Jon Kreder for Lowndes. CCA will counter with leading hitter Michael McDonald and a batting order that's aggressive at the plate and on the bases.

Jones said his team should have 'as good a chance as anybody' of walking away with a state title.

"It could go either way when you get over to Selma," said Jones. "You're playing in that big park and in front of a big crowd and everybody's nervous. Anything can happen."

The game will start at 11 a.m. at Selma's Bloch Park. Shelby and Southern will square off in the other Class A contest, scheduled to start at 1 p.m. The tournament is double-elimination.