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Central Red Devil Baseball headed to State Tournament for first time in 26 years

Published: May. 17, 2022 at 9:52 AM EDT
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PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WTVM) - The Central Red Devils took on Auburn this past weekend, in the 7A Final Four Round of the Alabama State Playoffs. After the first two games ended in walk-off fashion, there was a lot to look forward to in the series finale.

The series prior to Game 3 was exciting to say the least. From a walk-off homerun, courtesy of Landon Beaver, to seal the deal for Central in Game 1... to Auburn walking it off themselves in the second game of the series. This series was full of ups-and-downs, both teams exchanging 3 - 2 victories.

It all came down to Game 3. Central’s starting pitcher, Jax Yoxtheimer, pitched all seven innings for the Red Devils. He also went 3 - 4 at the plate. But, it was the sixth inning, where Central scored 3 runs that sealed the win. Caleb Johnson and Brody Capps provided the insurance runs that allowed Yoxtheimer to finish the game. Central went on to win the finale 6 - 2, and the series 2 - 1.

For the past four years, Auburn has won this game and went to state. Central, on the other hand, has not competed for a state title in 26 years.

Coach AJ Kehoe commented on the victory after the game, “It means a lot, when I took that job 5 years ago, it’s what we talked about. We had to shrink that gap up, between us and Auburn. And, our guys have really made some strides. Plus our coaching staff has done a fantastic job”.

Central will be taking on Hewitt Trussville in the 7A Alabama Baseball State Championship, starting Friday, May 20, at 8 p.m. The second game takes place Saturday, May 21, at 11 a.m. with the finale to follow at 1:30 p.m., if needed.

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