Montevallo High baseball falls in opening round
By TREY HICKMAN/For the Reporter
MONTEVALLO — The Montevallo varsity baseball team’s postseason was an abbreviated one as the host Bulldogs suffered a sweep at the hands of Fayette County in a best-of-three series in the first round of the AHSAA Class 3A state playoffs April 19.
A two-run homer by Fayette County in Game 1 propelled the Tigers to a 3-2 win, forcing a do-or-die second game for Montevallo. However, the visitors’ bats erupted in the bottom of the sixth en route to a 10-2 Fayette County victory.
The Tigers grabbed a quick lead in the nightcap, going up 2-0 in the first, and that score remained for a couple of innings.
In the top of the fourth, Montevallo’s Chase Hamrick led off by reaching first and advancing to second following a throwing error by Fayette County’s third baseman. After a Hunter Nabors single moved Hamrick to third, Colby Lucas — pinch running for Nabors — found himself in a rundown between first and second.
However, a Tiger fielder mishandled a throw as Lucas slid into second, and Hamrick scored on the miscue. Two batters later Justin Pickett drove in Lucas on a groundout to tie the contest at two.
“We thought we got back in (the game in the fourth) and for most part the whole game we gave ourselves a chance,” said Montevallo head coach Trey Simpson.
The scoring ceased until the bottom of the sixth, when Fayette County unknotted the game with gusto, plating eight runs to go up 10-2. Except for a Preston Burns single, the Bulldogs’ offense was nonexistent in the top of the seventh as Fayette County abruptly ended Montevallo’s playoff run.
Simpson praised those players whose high school careers came to a close with the Game 2 defeat.
“This group of seniors, they’ve won 90 games in four years, 75 the past three. Not too long ago, this program wasn’t very competitive, and they have a lot to do with that. We’re proud for them and we’re thankful for them and we wish it would have went another way but, you know, you just have to battle back, keep your head up and move on.
“We want to let them know that we appreciate them.”
Offensively for Montevallo in Game 2, Preston Burns went 2-for-3 while Brady Hamer and Hunter Nabors were each 1-for-3.
Montevallo ended its season at 21-11.