PLAS wins! Coach Austin lives to coach another dayPublished 12:35am Saturday, May 3, 2014
The Pike Liberal Arts Patriots battled their way to finals of the AISA state baseball championship with a hard-fought win over Tuscaloosa Academy at the Patriots’ home field Friday afternoon.
The Patriots will square off against Glenwood in the best-of-three series at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Patterson Field in Montgomery.
Chandler Avant pitched a gem of a game going the distance on the mound for the Patriots. Avant also chipped in four RBIs including two homeruns on two at-bats.
The Patriots took a 3-2 lead in the first inning and added three more runs in the second on Avant’s second homerun of the day.
The 6-2 lead held until the fifth-inning when Tuscaloosa scored two runs tightening the score at 6-4.
Tuscaloosa threatened in the sixth inning with a hard hit ball and two runners on base. However a base runner was thrown out at the plate to end the inning. Tuscaloosa went rather quietly in the seventh and the Patriots celebrated a deserved opportunity to play for the AISA state championship.
In the game, Bryan Adams went three for four with one run scored. Miles Loving had a hit and an RBI and a run scored. Drew Starling had a hit. Connor Vowell had a hit and an RBI. Colby Roberts had a hit and scored a run and Tulley Everett scored a run.
Following a short celebration, the team gathered on the infield and the Patriot fans gathered at the fence to show their appreciation to the Patriot’s longtime coach Butch Austin.
Buddy Starling, the voice of the Patriots, said Friday’s game was a big moment in Patriot baseball history. Having announced his retirement, Austin had coached his last game on the Patriot diamond.
“Butch Austin is a legend in Patriot baseball,” Starling said. “Some people change the world. I don’t know about changing the world but Coach Austin has changed the lives of the hundreds of young men he has mentored, taught and coached. He is greatly appreciated. Coach Austin, we love you and wish you health and happiness.”