Coosa Valley splits state championship games, final game Wednesday
By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Editor
MONTGOMERY—The Coosa Valley Academy Rebels split the first two games of the AISA State Baseball Championship with Clarke Prep. May 6.
In the first game, the Rebels rode the arm of Colton Pate, who tossed a no-hitter to keep the Gators off the board and take a 3-0 win.
The Rebels were able to make the most out of the three hits Clarke surrendered, using a big top of the fifth to gain the advantage. Logan Guy walked with one out, and Will Pouncey singled to center, advancing on the throw in. With Guy at third and Pouncey at second, Michael Mims was intentionally walked. Pate then hit a double down the left field line to score Guy, Pouncey and Mims to take a 3-0 lead.
Over the final three innings, Pate allowed just one base runner, shutting down the Gators and giving CVA the opening game win, 3-0.
Pate went all seven innings, walking just one batter to nine strikeouts. His two hits and three RBIs also led the Rebels offensively.
With the first game in hand, Coosa Valley looked to seal up a second-straight title with a second-straight win over the Gators, but a tough top of the seventh led to the Gators taking a 8-4 win.
Game two was a back-and-forth affair, with the Gators taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. The Rebels tied in the bottom of the inning when a bases loaded hit-by-pitch of Ryan Garrett scored Niko Teofilo to tie the game.
Coosa Valley took the lead in the bottom of the third when Pate scored on a ground out by Zach Spratlin, but the Gators tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the fourth.
The Rebels answered back in the bottom of the inning when Pouncey scored, but again the Gators knotted it up, this time in the top of the fifth.
CVA took the lead again in the top of the sixth when Bailey Blocker scored on a fielder’s choice.
Up by one and looking to close out the title, the Rebels ran into trouble in the top of the seventh. The Gators put together a five-run inning to take an 8-4 lead, and the Rebels failed to answer in the bottom of the seventh, leaving three on base in the inning for an 8-4 loss.
Teofilo took the loss in relief of Spratlin, surrendering three earned on one hit in 1.2 innings of work. Mims went 2-for-4 with an RBI in the loss.
The final game takes place May 7 at 5 p.m. at Paterson Field in Montgomery.