Al Timmerman's Westwood baseball team outscored its two opponents, 44-4, in four games during its run to the GISA Class A title game.
WHO: Crisp Academy (19-6) at Westwood (19-3).
WHAT: GISA Class A State Championship, best-of-three series.
WHEN: 1 p.m. Friday — Game 1; Game 2 on Saturday at 1 p.m., immediately followed by Game 3, if necessary.
STILLMORE — They kept the date, kept their word to each other and just kept winning.
That’s what happened Saturday when Westwood took care of David Emanuel, 5-1, in Game 2 to complete a sweep in the GISA Class A Final Four. The Wildcats won Game 1 on Friday, 11-1, in five innings.
“We talked about getting down to business before the game,’’ Westwood coach Al Timmerman said. “We didn’t want to hang around any longer than we had to. We wanted to win it (in two games).’’
So the rematch everyone has been waiting for is set, and there’s nothing left but the buildup for one of the best encores in prep baseball.
It’s going to be Westwood vs. Crisp Academy all over again next week in Camilla, where the Westwood kids will try to avenge last year’s bitter loss to Crisp in the state finals. They’re home this year — and pretty hungry.
Westwood’s ace Douglas Nobles said earlier this week that losing to Crisp a year ago was “gut-wrenching,’’ and Timmerman said when his kids started practice this season, they talked about getting back to the state final from the first warm-up pitch.
The first game is at 1 p.m. on Friday. Game 2 will also be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday and if a Game 3 is needed, it will begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of Game 2.
They arrive in style, sweeping David Emanuel and outscoring their playoff opponents, 44-4 in back-to-back sweeps.
“I guess now we can talk about playing Crisp,’’ said Timmerman, who has done his best to keep his team focused on the team that was right in front of them instead of the one his kids have been wanting to play all year at the end of the road.
It was evident after the 5-1 win Saturday. No one stormed the field and no one went crazy in a wild celebration.
“We had a very small celebration,’’ Timmerman said. ‘It was a business mentality. We got the job done.’’
Westwood (19-3) was the home team Saturday and David Emanuel (16-12) appeared ready to pull off an upset when the first two batters of the game reached base. Then starter Caleb Morrell promptly struck out the side.
The tone was set for Westwood, which took the momentum of the three strikeouts and jumped on DEA with a four-run inning. The first four hitters in the lineup scored.
Mason Worsham and Mitch Good walked and Nobles hit a two-run double to get Westwood on the board. Then Morrell belted a two-run homer — his second in as many days to give him 10 on the year — and just like that, it was 4-0.
“The fact they didn’t get anything in the first inning and then we scored four runs (was huge),’’ Timmerman said. “That really helped us. (DEA) played much better (in Game 2 than they did in Game 1). Their pitching was a lot better. It was cold (during the game) and our bats were a little cold, too.’’
Westwood added a run in the fifth when Worsham singled, moved up on an error and scored on Nobles’ single.
Morrell did the rest.
Morrell improved to 8-1 for the season with the win. He went the distance and struck out 10 while giving up five hits and three walks. Morrell has 72 strikeouts this season.
Nobles and Morrell have given Westwood an incredible 1-2 punch on the mound, and the two seniors will have one more weekend to pitch.
“I can’t say enough about our pitchers,’’ Timmerman said. “The have been dominating.’’
Nobles beat Crisp earlier this season, but Crisp beat Westwood in the final week of the regular season to earn a split in the Region 3-A race. Both teams and their fans have been talking about a possible rematch in the state final all season.
“It’s been remarkable what we’ve done to have back-to-back seasons like we’ve had,’’ Timmerman said of his team. “They wanted to have another chance to go for it. We came so close last year. They’re trying to succeed and get it done. We talked about it when the season started, and we are slowly getting to our goal. Now it’s time to focus on Crisp.’’