MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AHSAA) – G.W. Long High School senior pitcher/third baseman Matt Snellwill have plenty to remember from his high school baseball-playing days – like three straight Class 2A state titles as a member of the Rebels’ baseball team.
Wednesday, he etched his performance at Riverwalk Stadium into the memories of the Skipperville faithful in attendance as he hurled a six-hitter to shut out Westbrook Christian 7-0 in the second and deciding game of the AHSAA 2019 Class 2A State Baseball Championship series. The Rebels (34-6) swept the Warriors (23-14) thank in big part to the hitting and pitching of Snell.
He struck out 12 as Long won its 16th state baseball title since 1989 – when head coach Drew Miller was admittedly just 10 years old. None of this year’s roster was even born. Yet, the legacy that started 21 years ago is alive and well thanks to Miller’sdedication and his players’ commitment, he said.
Snell earned Class 2A Championships Series MVP in style. He was 4-for-4 in game two with two runs scored and an RBI. He hit the only homer of the week so far over the right-field fence to give the Rebels a 6-0 lead. He finished the series batting .778 on a 7-of-9 hitting spree. He drove in four runs and also scored four.
G.W. Long pounded 27 hits in the two wins, a team batting average of .435, with 19 RBIs. Catcher Slade Simmons was 4-for-7 with four RBIs, including two hits Wednesday. First sacker Harrison Gray was 4-for-6 with three RBIs. He also had two hits in game two.
Snell was especially masterful in the tough situations. Westbrook’s Andrew Duttondelivered a two-out triple to right center in the first inning, but Snell struck out the next batter to end the threat. The Warriors of Coach Matt Kennedy got a man on third in the second frame when John Ross Morgan doubled and advanced on a sacrifice bunt. Snell got the third out on another strikeout to end the inning.
G.W. Long came out swinging, collecting one run in the first, one in the second and three in the bottom of the third inning. Snell singled in the first inning and scored onSimmons’ double. Parker Collier drew a two-out walk in the second inning, stole second and scored on Carson Dunlap’s timely single.
Snell had a lead-off single in the third and pinch-runner Blayne McDaniel scored on a bases-loaded infield hit by Jake Steed. The Rebels got two more runs on a single by Collier. McDaniel scored the final run in the sixth inning on an RBI single by Gray.
Andrew Dutton had two hits for Westbrook. Samuel Dutton started on the mound and pitched 3 1/3 innings to get the loss. Steven Smith pitched two shutout innings in relief.