Vincent baseball drops game one of state finals

Published 12:07 am Tuesday, May 16, 2023

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

JACKSONVILLE – The Vincent Yellow Jackets fell to the Ariton Purple Cats, 2-1, in the opening game of the Class 2A State Championship series on Monday, May 15 at Jacksonville State University.

The game got off to an eventful start as a two-hour-and-20-minute rain delay forced the opening game to be moved from Choccolocco Park in Oxford to Jacksonville State.

When the game began, Ariton’s first two batters reached base on singles, but Vincent starter Aiden Poe got three straight outs to get out of the jam.

Vincent had a quiet bottom of the first, but in the second inning, Poe provided his own run support with an RBI-double down the third base line to score Nolan Kratz and go up 1-0.

The next three innings were a pitching duel between Poe and Ariton starter Phenix Griffin. Both defenses backed up their pitchers with great fielding plays to keep the score as it was.

Ariton broke through in the top of the sixth after Connor Thrash scored Griffin from first on an RBI-double to tie up the game. Thrash would advance to third off a wild pitch, but Poe got out of the inning without surrendering the lead.

Vincent put Zac Carlisle and Casen Fields on base with one out in the bottom of the frame, but the Ariton defense got the final two outs to escape unscathed.

The Purple Cats continued their momentum into the seventh and scored with runners on the corners off a Caden Collier RBI-single to take a 2-1 lead.

All three of the Vincent batters fell in the bottom of the seventh and Ariton took the 1-0 series lead.

Phenix Griffin took the complete game win, allowing two hits, two walks and one earned run while earning six strikeouts.

Poe also went the distance and took eight strikeouts against seven hits and two earned runs to go with his RBI double at the plate. He also extended his streak without surrendering a walk to 59 straight innings.

The two sides will play game two at Jacksonville State at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, May 12, and if Vincent wins, they will play game three immediately after to decide the state title.