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CLASS 1A STATE BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES GAME 2: Sweet Water 6, Spring Garden 4

GAME 2: Sweet Water 6, Spring Garden 4

MONTGOMERY -- Defending state champion Sweet Water edged Spring Garden 6-4 in game two of the AHSAA Class 1A State Baseball Championship Series at Riverwalk Stadium Thursday morning to claim the Bulldogs’ second straight state title.
       The sweep of the Panthers didn’t come easily, however.
       Coach John Gluschick’s Bulldogs (29-9) won game on Wednesday on the strength senior Jonah Smith’s two-hit 8-0 shutout. Thursday’s game had much more suspense, however. Sweet Water scored an unearned run in the top of the third inning Shamar Lewis singled, stole second, moved to third on a scoring error and scored when Trenton Sams grounded out.
     The Bulldogs post five more runs, all unearned, in the top of the fourth to take a 6-0 lead. Jonah Smith, named the Class 1A tourney MVP, and J.T. Etheridge opened the rally with back-to-back singles. Braiden Broussard reached on a fielder’s choice but Smith was thrown out at the plate. Reed Joiner loaded the bases reaching on an error and Luke Davis followed with a double down the left-field line to clear the bases for the big hit of the inning.
     Coach Barrett Ragsdale’s Panthers, scoreless in the first 11 innings of the series, finally came to life in the bottom of the fourth scoring four runs of Sweet Water starter Sasha Smith. Riley Austin opened the inning with a single and scored on an infield error three batters later. Luke Welsh then delivered a bases-loaded double down the right-field line to cut the Sweet Water led to 6-4.
   Sweet Water opened the sixth inning with back-to-back singles by Austin Slayton and Weston Kirk. The rally was snuffed out two batters later when Sweet Water turned a double play.
    Sasha Smith (7-0), the younger brother of Jonah Smith, pitched 4 2/3 innings, allowed two hits and struck out three to get the win. Chance Broussard hurled the final 2 1/3 innings allowing two hits and no runs to get the save.  Kirk went the distance for the Panthers, scattering nine hits and six unearned runs. He walked none and struck out none.
    Sams finished with one hit and two RBIs. He also had one stolen base -- giving him 34 on the season. He broke the school record with his 33rd steal Wedneday night. Davis had two hits and three RBIs, and Chastain Washington had two hits and scored two runs.
    Welsh’s double and three RBIs paced Spring Garden. Kirk finished with one hit and an RBI, Slayton and Austin had a single each and score a run.
     Sweet Water’s title was the 10th in school history, moving the Bulldogs to second all-time behind G.W. Long, which won its 15th state crown Tuesday. Vestavia Hills and Hokes Bluff now rank third with nine state championships each.
     Mobile Christian (28-9) and Lauderdale County (22-15-1) play game two of the Class 3A championship series today at 4 p.m.  The Class 5A series, featuring Russellville (30-14) and Faith Academy (34-4) in a rematch from 2017, begins at 4 p.m. Thursday at Paterson Field. The Class 6A series between Helena (26-14) and Hazel Green (30-12) plays game one at 7 p.m. Both series shift to Riverwalk Stadium Friday with 5A at 10 a.m., and 6A at 4 p.m. The third game in each series will follow 30 minutes later if needed.
    The Class 7A championship series opens Friday at 6 p.m. at Paterson Field with Hewitt-Trussville (32-9) facing Auburn (35-7). The 7A series close the AHSAA Championships Saturday at Riverwalk Stadium with game two at 10 a.m.
    All championship series games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network.
The AHSAA Softball Championships is underway at Lagoon Park today through Saturday.


CLASS 3A STATE BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES GAME 1: Mobile Christian 6, Lauderdale County 1

GAME 1: Mobile Christian 6, Lauderdale County 1

MONTGOMERY -- Mobile Christian senior Tyler Hoffman  pitched a three-hitter and struck out eight to lift the Leopards (28-9) to a 6-1 victory over Lauderdale County in game one of the AHSAA Class 3A State Baseball Championship Series Wednesday night at Paterson Field.
    Coach Talley Haines’ team takes the 1-0 advantage over the Tigers (22-15-1) into game two, which will start at 4 p.m. Thursday at Riverwalk Stadium. Game three, if needed, will begin 30 minutes after completion of game two.
    Classes 5A and 6A open their championship series at Paterson Field Thursday night with defending Class 5A state champion Russellville taking on Faith Academy at 4 p.m., and Helena meeting Hazel Green in  the 6A opener at 7. The two series will move to Riverwalk Stadium Friday.
    Hoffman (8-2) faced only 26 batters in notching eighth win of the season. Catcher Ethan Hearn  slugged a homer and  single to plate two runs and Sam Ladner had a triple and single and scored twice for Mobile Christian. Jeffry Griffin also had two hits and two RBIs.
    Lauderdale County, coached Corey Looney, scored its only run on an RBI single by Tanner Bayes in the fifth inning.  Starting pitcher Slayden Swanson (7-3) pitched six innings, scattered 10 hits and struck our seven in the loss.
    All championship series games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network.
The AHSAA Softball Championships will continue at Lagoon Park Thursday morning with first games set for 9 a.m. The 56-team, seven-classification state tourney will conclude Saturday.

CLASS 1A STATE BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES GAME 2: Sweet Water 8, Spring Garden 0

GAME 2: Sweet Water 8, Spring Garden 0

MONTGOMERY -- Defending state champion Sweet Water downed Spring Garden 8-0 in the opening game of the AHSAA Class 1A State Baseball Championship Series which got underway Wednesday night at Paterson Field.
    Coach John Gluschick’s Bulldogs (28-9) got a super performance from senior pitcher Jonah Smith (14-2). He hurled a two-hitter, walked none and struck out 10 to get the win. Austin Slayton went the distance for Coach Barrett Ragsdale’s Panthers (26-10) allowing 12 hits and striking out four.
    Sweet Water got two runs in each of the first two innings to take the lead for good. Smith slugged a double and two singles to drive in three runs for the Bulldogs. Braiden Broussard added two hits and two RBIs and Shamar Lewis had a single and two RBIs.
    Riley Austin and Luke Welsh each managed a hit for Spring Garden.
    The series moves to Riverwalk Stadium Thursday morning at 10 a.m. with game three, if needed, to follow 30 minutes after conclusion. The series is best 2-of-3.
     Mobile Christian (27-9) and Lauderdale County (22-14-1) squared off at 7 p.m. in the Class 3A series opener Wednesday night.
    All championship series games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network.
The AHSAA Softball Championships will continue at Lagoon Park Thursday morning with first games set for 9 a.m. The 56-team, seven-classification state tourney will conclude Saturday.



CLASS 4A STATE BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES Andalusia Reb ounds to Sweep Games 2 & 3 to Claim First Championship

MONTGOMERY -- Andalusia rebounded from a 6-3 loss to Hokes Bluff in game one of the AHSAA Class 4A State Baseball Championship Series Tuesday night by sweeping the Eagles 2-1 and 10-6 at Riverwalk Stadium as the Bulldogs captured the school’s first-ever state baseball title.
     The loss Tuesday at Paterson Field snapped a 19-game winning streak. Coach Tyler Dent’s Bulldogs (30-5) started a new streak in game two, however, senior Ethan Wilson, the series MVP, tossing a three-hitter in the 2-1 win. Game three, however, became a matter of timely hitting.
    Tied at 3-3 in the top of the fourth inning, Gil Morgan’s double drove in the go-ahead run and Hogan Nichols singled in a run two came across thanks to wild pitches as the Bulldogs took a 7-3 lead.
    Coach Mike Robertson’s Eagles (28-8) cut the lead to 7-6 with three unconventional runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth -- coming on a bases-loaded walk to Caleb McGinnis, a hit-by-pitch by Peyton Moore and a sacrifice fly by Dylan Teague.
    Andalusia answered with a run in the sixth thanks to Nichols’ RBI single, and scored two in the seventh when Garrett Davis drilled a single to plate two runs.
  Starting pitcher Chip Morgan (3-1) pitched 4 1/3 innings to get the win with his brother Gill Morgan  shutting out Hokes Bluff over the final 2 2/3 innings  to notch the save. Weston Ball (1-1) got the loss in relief.
   The Eagles’ trip to the finals was the first since winning six state crowns in a row from 2003-08.

Game 2: Andalusia 2, Hokes Bluff 1
  
   Pitchers Ethan Wilson of Andalusia and Payton Lemons of Hokes Bluff battled it out in game two of the AHSAA Class 4A State Baseball Championship Series Wednesday afternoon to set up the third game of the best 2-of-3 series.
  Wilson (12-0), a senior left-hander, tossed a  complete-game three-hitter to notch the win. He walked three and struck out six -- battling back from an ankle injury in the third inning when he accidentally stepped on the catcher’s mask while covering behind the plate on a play.  He had his ankle taped, however, came back in with his ankle taped tightly and got out of a jam. He got stronger in the late innings to close out with the complete-game win.
    Lemons pitched six innings, allowed four hits, walked one and struck out seven.
    Andalusia (29-5), which had a 19-game winning streak snapped Tuesday night in a 6-3 lost to the Eagles (28-7) in game one at Paterson Field, posted both runs in the top of the third. Gil Morgan started the rally getting hit by a pitch. Wilson grounded into a force play with Morgan making the second out at second base. Wilson stole second, however, and scored on Garrett Davis’ double down the left field line. Davis then scored on on a wild pitch for what turned out to be the winning run.
    Hokes Bluff right fielder Jace Stewart turned in the defensive gem of the game in the bottom of the fourth when he threw out Will Clark at the plate trying to score on a single by J.W. Jones. Catcher Houston Edwards caught the ball just up the line and tagged Clark as he slide into home.


McGill-Toolen’s Graham Collins & Caroline Huff Sweep AHSAA Decathlon, Heptathlon Titles

HOOVER – McGill-Toolen Catholic’s Graham Collins turned in solid performance in Tuesday’s final day of the 55th annual AHSAA State Decathlon Championships at Hoover High School to finish with 6,914 points to claim the individual title. Hewitt-Trussville junior Stone Shellnutt finished second with 6,368.
    Caroline Huff, a senior for the Yellow Jackets, closed strong to score 4,339 points and won the girls’ title in the 31st AHSAA Heptathlon. Hoover’s Genesis Jones led after day one but slipped to fourth. Pelham sophomore Erin Long, third after the first day, rose to second place with 4,294 points -- just 45 points behind Huff.
     Rounding out the boys’ top five finishers in the 47-member field were senior James Courson of Hoover (6,229), Winfield junior Walker Junkin (5,671) and Hewitt-Trussville junior Caleb Young (5,518).
    Collins won the 110-meter hurdles with a 14.99 time Tuesday. Other event leaders were Junkin in the discus (135-06), Courson in the pole vault (15-05), Miguel Cortes of James Clemens in the javelin (165-08) and Homewood’s Logan Justice clocked 4:33.07 for the best time of the 1,500-meter run.
    James Clemens’ Ashlee Osaji finished third in the heptathlon competition with 4,137 points, , followed by Hoover’s Jones (4,111) and Hewitt-Trussville’s Sydney White (4,082). The girls had three events Tuesday with Huff winning the long jump with a 17-11.75 leap, Long capturing the javelin with a 122-04 throw and James Clemens’ Sylvia Cortes clocking 2:22.42 to win the 800 meters. The girls’ competition had 40 participants.
     Complete results of the 2018 Decathlon and Heptathlon competiion can be found at: www.ahsaa.com.

At 80th AHSAA State Golf Tourney Mountain Brook Shoots 32-under Par as a Team To Capture the Boys Class 7A State Golf Title

   MUSCLE SHOALS - Mountain Brook shot a 13-under 275 in round two of the 80th annual AHSAA State Golf Championships Tuesday to finish 32 strokes under par with a team total 544 to win the Class 7A boys title over rival and defending state champion Spain Park. The RTJ’s Shoals Golf Club hosted the tourney.
 . The Jaguars finished 20 strokes back with a 280-284-564 total. McGill-Toolen Catholic was third at 584 and Auburn fourth with 587.
    Spartans’ teammates William Wann and Gordon Sargent tied for the low medalist honors with 36-hole totals of 11-under 133. Sargent, a freshman, followed Monday’s 64 with a 3-under 69 and Wann, a junior, shot a 67 Monday and a 66, the lowest 7A round Tuesday. Both tied the state tourney record for 36 holes. Spain Park’s Patrick Martin and Straughn’s Brooks Rabren each shot 133 at the 2015 state tourney and St. Paul’s Robby Shelton had a 133 at the 2013 championships.
    Also winning boys’ championships Tuesday were Muscle Shoals (6A), St. Paul’s Episcopal (5A), UMS-Wright (4A), Houston Academy (3A) and Donoho (1A/2A). Girls’ state champions included Auburn (7A), Muscle Shoals (6A), Northside (4A/5A) and Providence Christian (1A/3A).
    Rounding out Coach Alex Lockett’s Mountain Brook total were junior Reynolds Lambert (67-70-137) and sophomore Mac Scott (71-70-141). Spain Park’s Ethan Hagood was two shots back of the leaders with a 67-68--135 total.
     The championship was the seventh boys’ title for the Spartans.
CLASS 6A BOYS
   
Muscle Shoals captured the championship a 296-285-581 total. Homewood as second just six strokes behind at 298-289-587. Benjamin Russell had 615 and Fort Payne shot 621.
    Thomas Regan fired a 7-under 65 to lead all classes with the low round Tuesday. The Muscle Shoals golfer was low 6A medalist with an 8-undrer 71-65-136 total. Jack Goldasich of Homewood was second with a 68 Tuesday and 139 total. Hunter Battles of Muscle Shoals had a 3-under 69 to finish with a 142 and Dawson Payne of Fort Payne followed Monday’s 67 round with a 77 and a 144 total.
CLASS 5A BOYS
   St. Paul’s Episcopal captured the school’s 12th state boys’ golf championship overall with a 9-over par 596 team total. Russellville was second at 624, Briarwood Christian third with 627 and Scottsboro finished fourth with a 666 team total.
   Justin  Olive of Brooks shot a 68-70-138 for the tourney to earn low medalist honors. His 2-under 70 Tuesday was the low round of the competition on the final day. Will McFadden shot a 69-71-140 to finish second for the Saints.
    Russellville’s Eric Boutwell followed Monday’s 68 with a 77 and finished third overall at 145.
CLASS 4A BOYS
   
UMS-Wright extended its state championship state record to 24 overall with 297-292 and 581 total overall to win the 4A team title. White Plains was 53 shots back at 634 to finish second, followed by Madison Academy (678) and Haleyville (696).
   Low medalist was Oneonta’s Cole Davidson, who had a 66 on day one and a 70 Tuesday for an 8-under 136 total. Andrew Graves led the winning Bulldogs with a 69-72 141 total to finish second. Oneonta’s Will Patrick was third shooting the best round Tuesday with a 5-under 67 to finish at 144.
CLASS 3A BOYS
   
Houston Academy duplicated Monday’s 4-over 292 round with another 292 for a 584 total to win the Class 3A state championship over Dothan rival and defending state champion Providence Christian. Ironically, the Eagles also shot identical rounds of 304 to finish 24 strokes back at 608 and took second place.
    Glencoe was third at 808 and Pleasant Valley was fourth at 915.
    Providence Christian’s Thomas Ponder earned low medalist with a two-day 3-under 139 total. He shot 70 Tuesday. Houston Academy’s Hal Dove and Jake McDonald were right behind at 140 and 141 with rounds of 70 and 71, respectively, Tuesday.  Clements’ Matt Smith had a 3-under 69 for Tuesday’s best 3A round and closed at 142 for fourth place just three shots back.
CLASS 1A/2A
    Donoho’s Jacob LeCroy fired a 69 Monday and followed with 2-under 70 on Tuesday to lead the Falcons to the Class 1A/2A state team title. His 139 total earned low medalist honors.  Donoho finished at 614 with Westbrook Christian second at 650, followed by Vincent (709) and Brantley (739).
   Westbrook’s Williams Wethington had a 68 Tuesday for the best round of the day in his class and finished second overall at 3-under 141. Dylan Moulton of Kinston also had a 70 Tuesday and was three shots off the pace at 2-under 142. Codey Cleveland of Red Bay also finished at 142 with a 1-over 73 in the final round.
CLASS 7A GIRLS
  Auburn shot a team round of 222 Tuesday to finish with a 13-over 445 team total and edged Hoover by one stroke for the 7A girls’ state crown. The Bucs also shot a 222 to finish at 445.  Spain Park was third at 469 and McGill-Toolen, fourth with 503.
    Caroline Waldrop of Spain Park had a 3-under 69 to finish with a 1-under 143 total and low medalist honors. Morgan Jones of Auburn shot back-to-back rounds of 72 to finish one shot off the pace at 144. Carron McKie of Hoover shot a 73 on the final round and also finished with a 144.
CLASS 6A GIRLS
    Muscle Shoals won the state title with a 239-232--471 to finish 23 strokes ahead of runner-up Hartselle (494). Oxford was third at 560 and Homewood fourth with 608.
    Mikayla Dubnik of Hartselle captured low medalist honors with a 2-under 70 Tuesday and two-day 142 total. Caroline MacVicar of Northridge shot even par 72 and was second overall at 146. Anna Margaret Hays of Muscle Shoals shot two straight rounds of 74 to finish third at 148.
CLASS 4A/5A GIRLS
    Erika Allen of Northside shot a 7-under par 65 to edge two-time state champion Michaela Morard of Randolph by one stroke 136-137 to capture the Class 4A/5A girls’ individual state title. Morard, who on the 7A state crown in 2015 and 2016 while attending Huntsville High School, led after day one shooting a girls’ state tourney record 64. She carded 1-over 73 Tuesday to finish with the third best round of the 4A/5A competition. Robyn Blakey of Leeds, who finished fourth overall at 154,  had an even-par 72.
    Allen finished 8-under for the tourney and Morard was 7-under. 
    Northside’s Karlee Allen was third overall with 76-76--152.
CLASS 1A/3A GIRLS
    Providence Christian shot a final round 236 to claim the 1A/3A state championship with a two-day 475 total. Bayside Academy was 23 shots back at 498 to take second, followed by Clements (578) and Glencoe (629) to round out the team scoring.
    Providence was anchored by Allison Howard and Lauren Thompson, who finished 1-2 in the individual competition. Howard finished with a 75 Tuesday and 149 overall. Thompson shot back-to-back rounds of 75 and was second at 150. Lauren Cole of Glencoe and Tori Rouse of Bayside tied for third at 153.



CLASS 4A STATE BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES GAME 1: Hokes Bluff 6, Andalusia 3

GAME 1: Hokes Bluff 6, Andalusia 3

MONTGOMERY -- Left-hander Dylan Teague (11-3) hurled a six-hitter and struck out five to lead Hokes Bluff to a 6-3 win over Andalusia in game one of the AHSAA Class 4A State Baseball Championship Series which got underway Tuesday night at Paterson Field.
    Coach Mike Robertson’s Eagles (28-6), making their first state finals appearance since winning six state titles in a row from 2003-08, also got a big game at the plate from catcher Houston Edwards, who had two hits and two RBIs. Koby Addison added two hits and Weston Ball had a single, RBI and scored two runs.
     Teague walked just one and through just over 100 pitches for the night.
     Andalusia (28-5), which came into the series 8-0 in four playoff series, took an early 2-0 lead  with starting pitcher Jacob Cravey (10-1) driving in two runs with one hit. He went 4 1/3 innings, allowed seven hits and struck out five. It was his first loss of the season and Andalusia’s first setback since March..
     Chip Morgan also had two hits for Coach Tyler Dent’s Bulldogs. Garrett Davis also had an RBI single and Ethan Wilson (11-0), who is expected to pitch game two Wednesday, had one hit and one run scored.
    The series moves to Riverwalk Stadium Wednesday at 4 p.m. Game three, if needed, will follow completion of game two in the best 2-of-3 championship series.
    Defending state champion Sweet Water (27-9) and Spring Garden (26-9) open the Class 1A series Wednesday at Paterson Field at 4 p.m. Mobile Christian (27-9) and Lauderdale County (22-14-1) square off at 7 p.m. in the Class 3A series opener.
    All championship series games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network.
The AHSAA Softball Championships also get underway at Lagoon Park Wednesday morning with first games set for 9 a.m. The 56-team, seven-classification state tourney will continue through Saturday.


CLASS 2A STATE BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES GAME 2: G.W. Long 11, Mars Hill Bible 4

MONTGOMERY -- Starting pitcher Dylan Register (11-0) hurled 5 2/3 strong innings, allowed four hits and struck out six to lead G.W. Long (31-12) to an 11-4 victory over Mars Hill Bible (30-12) in game two of the AHSAA Class 2A State Baseball Championship Series and sealed a 2-0 sweep for the state  title.
    The state championship was No. 15 in the school’s history, most of any school in AHSAA baseball history, and also sealed Coach Drew Miller’s Rebels’ second straight crown. Long won the first game in a come-from-behind 7-6 win that took 11 innings Monday night.
   They came out cooking Tuesday morning at Riverwalk Stadium. Caison Long’s RBI single highlighted a four-run second inning as the Rebels took a 4-0 lead. Mars Hill, coached by Jay Mitchell, clawed back to 4-3 by the end of the third, but Long struck for two in the fourth and four more runs in the top of the fifth. 
    Jake Ogelsby doubled to start the fourth and scored on Register’s RBI single. He finished with two hits and two RBIs.  Oglesby also had two hits and scored twice. In the fifth, Kamryn Faria, who got the Monday night win in relief, walked to start the rally. Christian Collier’s two-run double sealed the win.
    Faria, who had three hits on Monday, was had a single and two walks to score two runs in Tuesday’s win. He finished 4-for-7 to earn MVP honors.
    The Panthers got two hits from Landon Moore, a double from Colt Smith and an RBI single from Peyton Higgins.
     Carson Dunlap closed out the final 1 2/3 innings for the Rebels allowing no hit and striking out one.
     Walker White (5-2) started and got the loss for Mars Hill. Mitchell used seven pitchers in the second game with Dustin Hayes hurling 1 2/3 innings allowing no runs, no hits and striking out two.
      Long won its state title in 1980. The 15 state titles are six more than any other school in the AHSAA.

McGill-Toolen’s Collins, Hoover’s Jones Leads Decathlon, Heptathlon after Day 1

HOOVER – McGill-Toolen Catholic’s Graham Collins totaled 3,736 points Monday in five events to take the first-day lead in the 55th annual AHSAA State Decathlon Championships being held at Hoover High School.
    Hoover’s own Genesis Jones accumulated 2,690 points in the 31st ASHSAA Girls’ Heptathlon competition lead James Clemens’ Audriana Blakely (2,646) by 44 points heading into Tuesday’s final round.
    Collins leads Stone Shellnut of Hewitt-Trussville (3,320) by 416 points with five events remaining in the Tuesday’s final round. He is well on his way to posting the best score in the Decathlon since Bo Jackson of McAdory totaled more 8,340 points in the 1981 Decathlon.
    Collins had the fastest time in the 100-meter dash (10.97 seconds) amongst the 47 competitors, had the top long jump (22-03.5), best high jump (6-01.5), and also won the 400-meter dash competition with a time of 49.59. Events remaining are the 110-meter hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1,500-meter run.
    Rounding out the top five Monday were: 3. Collier Robinson, James Clemens (3,153); 4. Edwin Rainey, Northridge (3,050); and Noah Williams, Hoover (3,034). Shane Denman of Oxford won the shot put competition with a toss of 38-11.75.
       Jones finished third to Hoover teammate Chakiya Plummer (14.92)  in the 110-meter hurdles and won the high jump (5-04.5).  Lanaiya Coney of Bob Jones won the shot put (30-10.5) and Plummer won the 200-meter dash (25.17).
     Filling out the Top 5 from day one’s heptathlon competition were Hoover’s Plummer (2,550), Erin Long of Pelham (2,514) and Jade Johnson of Northridge (2,506).
    The state record was set by Shelly Spires of St. Paul’s Episcopal (5,000) in 2014.
     Complete first-round results can be found at: www.ahsaa.com.

CLASS 2A STATE BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES GAME 1: G.W. Long 7, Mars Hill Bible 6 (11 innings)

GAME 1: G.W. Long 7, Mars Hill Bible 6 (11 innings)iHillHillh

MONTGOMERY -- G.W. Long junior catcher Slade Simmons delivered a bases-loaded single to drive in Braeden Paramore in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift the Rebels (30-12) to a 7-6 victory over Mars Hill Bible (30-11) in the opening game of the AHSAA Class 2A Baseball Championship Series at Paterson Field Monday night.
   The two teams move to Riverwalk Stadium Tuesday for game two at 10 a.m. The best two-of-three series’ game three, if needed, will follow 30 minutes following should Mars Hill win game two.
   Game one was a tale of two games -- the first one almost won by the Panthers of Coach Jay Mitchell in regulation. Leading 6-4 in the bottom of the seventh, Mars Hill gave up two runs when Long’s Kamryn Faria delivered a bases-loaded single to plate two runs to tie the game.
    Mars Hill reliever Cade Parrish, who hurled 4  1/3 strong innings of relief, robbed Caison Long of a game-winning hit when he stabbed the left fielder’s hard-hit liner back up the middle for the third out.
    From that point on, both teams played exceptionally well as Parrish hurled three shutout innings for the Panthers and Faria, Coach Drew Miller’s fifth pitcher of the night, pitched the final 2 1/3 innings to get the win.
    Starting pitcher Matt Snell hurled 5 1/3 innings, allowed eight hits and struck out nine before leaving the game after reaching his pitch limit.  Mars Hill starter Colt Smith hurled six strong innings, struck out six and gave up six hits -- leaving the game with a two-run lead.
     The Rebels finished with 14 hits with Paramore, Dylan Register and Faria collecting three hits. Faria had a double and three RBIs.
    Sam Ragan had had three hits and an RBI, Brooks Thompson and Cade Parrish had two hits each for Mars Hill, which finished with 10 hits.
    The Class 4A series plays game one at Paterson Field Tuesday night at 6 p.m. Hokes Bluff takes on Andalusia. The NFHS Network is live-streaming all game of the AHSAA Baseball Championships and all finals of the AHSAA Softball Championships. Lagoon Park hosts the softball tournament Wednesday through Saturday.