Brantley falls to Blacksher in playoffs
Published 4:06 pm Tuesday, May 17, 2016
SPECIAL TO THE JOURNAL: KATIE SILVA
After months of rigorous training, the Brantley Bulldogs competed in the Final Four round of the 2016 Alabama Boys Baseball State Championship Tournament last week.
Brantley faced off against the J.U. Blacksher Bulldogs, losing 1-2 in the three game series.
“Obviously, the team fell short of the main goal but as a baseball program, we have grown stronger and had a fantastic season,” said BHS Bulldog senior Tristan Owens.
“A season like this can only build onto next year’s season, and the seasons after that one. Brantley had a very successful season and excited to see these younger guys step up in the seasons to come.”
Game one for the Bulldogs started off with Adrian Person batting. Person got on base along with Tommy Spivey. Jacob Free hit a double, scoring two runners for Brantley. Spivey started off pitching and struck out a batter for the first out of the first inning.
An error occurred and allowed one of their players to score. The second out came when the Brantley Bulldogs chased down a runner. Spivey struck out a Blacksher Bulldog for the third out.
Edge Branum was walked to get on base at the top of the second. Colby Carpenter hit the ball between center and right field; Parker Driggers ran for Carpenter. Branum scored when Person batted. Free was intentionally walked, and in the bottom of the second the first out came from Free throwing to first base.
Spivey struck out the second and third batters. The top of the third was uneventful for the Brantley Bulldogs. Free threw to first to get an out, and Trey Lowery threw from right field to home plate to get the second out of the inning. Free threw the ball to Person, at second, to end the third inning.
At the top of the fourth, the Bulldogs could not get anything started. A pop fly was hit out to Lowery for the first out of the fourth. A ground ball was hit to Nathan Renfroe at third and to Free at shortstop to bring the fourth to a close.
In the bottom of the fifth, Branum threw to first while on the ground, getting the first out. Renfroe threw to first from third. Spivey struck the last batter out.
In the top of the sixth, Andrew Kimbro got on base; Lowery ran bases for him. Branum also got on base. Carpenter then got hit and walked with Driggers running bases for him.
Spivey was walked and soon after Lowery scored. Free was up to bat and scored Driggers. Person caught a pop fly at center field in the bottom of the sixth. Free fielded a ground ball and threw to first. Spivey soon struck out the second batter.
In the top of the seventh, things continued to stay uneventful for the Brantley Bulldogs. To end the first game, Spivey struck out a batter. The last two outs came from a double play from Free to second base and then to first. The Brantley Bulldogs lost with a final score of 5-1.
Game two for the Brantley started off with Renfroe pitching. The Brantley quickly got three outs. The first inning was an uneventful offensive inning. Neither team scored until the bottom of the third inning, when Free hit an in the park home run.
At the bottom of the fourth, the Brantley Bulldogs exploded on offense. The team successfully scored two runners, making the score 3-1.
Sadly, Blacksher made a come back and scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth. In the top of the seventh, Blacksher scored another run.
Greyson Layton got the last bat for the Brantley, scoring Spivey. The score ended at 5-4, with Brantley losing the second game of the series. They were to play again on Friday for the third and final game of the series.
The third game started off with Brantley on defense with Free taking the mound. The Brantley Bulldogs got three out but not before Blacksher scored five runners.
Brantley quickly came back and scored three runners of their own. Brantley held off Blacksher, getting three outs quickly.
Person tied the scored hitting a two-run homerun. The top of the third proved uneventful for both teams. In the bottom of third, however, Brantley scored two runners, putting them ahead 7-5.
Sadly at the top of the fifth, Blacksher scored three runs. Mack Wise hit a two-run homerun for the Brantley Bulldogs, putting them up 9-8.
In the top of the sixth, Blacksher tied the game. In the eighth, Blacksher scored one runner making the score 10-9.
Brantley fought hard to come back, but didn’t quite make the cut and suffered a crushing loss for the Bulldogs. When asked how he felt about their season, Owens said, “Looking back at the season, you want to be disappointed for not reaching the big goal, but the optimistic and realistic way to look at it is to realize our team matured throughout the season.”
“We learned what it meant to battle. We fought adversity and overcame a lot of challenges. As a senior, I can speak for this team and say there will never be another one like it and it won’t be the last time you see the Brantley Bulldogs in the fourth round of the playoffs.”
The Brantley Bulldogs boasted an overall season record of 26-12.