Coosa Valley sweeps its way to semifinals of AISA baseball playoffs

Published 9:12 am Thursday, April 27, 2023

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By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

HARPERSVILLE – The Coosa Valley Academy Rebels are headed to the semifinals of the AISA Class A playoffs after a quarterfinals weep of Snook Christian on Wednesday, April 26.

The Rebels used a strong combination of pitching, defense and offense to pull away in wins of 5-0 and 17-4 in the second round.

The 5-0 shutout kicked off the night in impressive fashion, as the Rebels got a 14-strikeout performance from Conner Hebson on the mound.

The senior pitcher went the distance, not only striking out four, but picking up the shutout after giving up no runs on four hits and three walks.

That allowed the Rebels the luxury of steadily pulling away for the win, as they took a 1-0 lead in the first, a 2-0 lead in the third and then added two more in the fourth and one final insurance run in the sixth to complete the 5-0 win.

At the plate, Coby Moore, Jake McArthur and Levi Ponder each finished with two hits, while Moore added an RBI. Brycen Wilson and Hebson both finished with one hit and one RBI, while Justin Tarwater put together a two-RBI game to help Coosa Valley snatch a 1-0 series lead.

That only grew the confidence of the team’s offense, as the Rebels came out on fire in game two of the series.

They had three innings of at least four runs in the matchup, taking control early with four in both the first and second innings to jump out to an 8-2 lead.

The Rebels went scoreless over the next two innings, while Snook trimmed the deficit to five runs at 8-3.

Both added a run in the fifth to make it 9-4, but it was the top of the sixth that made the ultimate difference.

Coosa Valley batted around in the inning with McArthur starting the inning with a double and then posting the final hit of the inning with an RBI triple. In between those two hits, there were four other singles, two walks and another triple to help the Rebels score eight runs in the sixth.

They then put together a 1-2-3 inning in the field to finish off the semifinal sweep with a 17-4 victory.

Moore led the team with three hits and drove home two runs, while Ponder added three RBIs to lead the team in that category on two hits. McArthur and Kale Riddle both added two hits and two RBIs in the win, while Hebson and Sam Setzer each finished with one hit and two RBIs.

Tarwater and Wilson also got in on the action with one hit and one RBI each. The Rebels totaled 13 hits in the win.

McArthur got the start and win on the mound, going five innings and allowing three earned runs on five hits and three walks with three strikeouts. Moore finished off the final inning with three consecutive strikeouts.

Coosa Valley will now take on either Lowndes or North River in the semifinal round.