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Holy Spirit ends Brantley’s state championship hopes

The Brantley Bulldogs’ hopes of repeating as 1A state champions came to an end last Friday with a pair of losses to Holy Spirit in Tuscaloosa.

In the first game, the Bulldogs fell 1-0.

“We just couldn’t get a runner across,” said head coach Ashley Kilcrease. “Adam Hill pitched a great game and gave us a chance to win, but we couldn’t get it done.”

Hill pitched a complete game and struck out six.

Kilcrease said that every time the Bulldogs made solid contact, it went right to an opposing player.

“Their pitcher threw well, and we couldn’t string any hits together,” he said. “They had a home run, and we had two caught at the fence. Besides the fact that we lost, it was a great baseball game.”

In the second game, Brantley fell 12-6 after going down early.

Holy Spirit put four runs on the board in the first inning, and before Brantley could respond, the score was 11-0.

“We just couldn’t get anything going,” Kilcrease said. “We scored three runs in the fourth, but just couldn’t dig out.”

One thing Kilcrease said he was proud of was his team’s toughness and resolve.

“Everyone played as hard as they could and didn’t quit when we got down,” he said. “I’m really proud of that. A lot of teams would have folded the tents, but we didn’t.”

Kilcrease also said there were a number of things that didn’t go right during the two games that might have changed the outcome.

“We made some errors and the kids made mistakes they don’t normally make, but I also made mistakes that I don’t normally make,” he said. “It just wasn’t our day.”

The losses marked the end of a career for three seniors: Chase Hall, Jared Hall and Chris Walker.

“Those guys have had great careers,” Kilcrease said. “They got a ring last year, saw the new field get built, and played well for us. They don’t have anything to be ashamed of.”