Rebels’ strong effort comes up short to Gators at state

Members of Coosa Valley's baseball team watch on after falling 3-2 in game three of the AISA state championship. (Reporter Photo/Drew Granthum)

Members of Coosa Valley’s baseball team watch on after falling 3-2 in game three of the AISA state championship. (Reporter Photo/Drew Granthum)

By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Editor

MONTGOMERY— A valiant effort came up just short as the Coosa Valley Rebels fell to Clarke Prep in the third and final game of the AISA state baseball championship, 3-2 May 7.

After Colton Pate’s no hitter gave the Rebels a 3-0 win in game one, the Gators bounced back, using a big seventh inning to take an 8-5 win and even the series at 1-1. Both games took place on May 6.

With the game on the line, both teams brought their best, with the Gators eking out a win by the narrowest of margins.

Both teams squared off in a defensive showcase, allowing no runs through three innings of work. Will Pouncey took the mound for CVA, striking out three and allowing two hits through the first three frames.

Coosa Valley got on the scoreboard first in the top of the fourth. Walker Holmes reached on an error, and moved to second on a Brantley Parker single. The duo each moved over a base when Christian Jantz grounded out, and Holmes scored on a Niko Teofilo single to center to take a 1-0 lead.

The lead lasted less than an inning, as Clarke Prep tied the game in the bottom of the fourth, and took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth.

Coosa Valley battled back, tying the game at 2-2 in the sixth when Pouncey scored on an error.

Once again, the Gators took the lead in the bottom half of the inning to go up 3-2. Down to their last three outs, the Rebels looked to have a spark of offense. Colton Pate singled to start the inning, but was forced out on a fielder’s choice by Ryan Garrett. Holmes then struck out, and Parker grounded out to end the game.

Despite coming up short, head coach Bobby Permenter said he had nothing but pride in his team, referring to his players as “(his) teammates.”

“We battled,” he said. “We had opportunities, just didn’t capitalize. They got the timely hits. Very proud of every one of my teammates. I know all of my seniors will go into the world and be successful young men.”

Parker and Teofilo led the way at the plate, with Parker going 2-for-3 and Teofilo providing an RBI.

Pouncey and Jantz combined for a six-hit, four strikeout performance on the mound.