PLAS baseball wins tournament championship in blowout

Published 10:09 pm Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Jonah McWaters Tournament championship game had a bit of a surprising start, but in the end, it was the same old story.

Pike Liberal Arts played host to Coosa Valley Academy, and just like the Patriots’ previous two opponents, the Rebels could not find a way to stop the offensive juggernaut that is PLAS.

The home team was able to celebrate its tournament championship thanks to a 23-4 victory Saturday night at Butch Austin Field.

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Sam Carroll got the win, pitching a complete game, striking out eight while giving up four runs.

“I thought Sam pitched well (Saturday night),” head coach Butch Austin said.

“He didn’t pitch as well as he normally does, but he still got he job done.

“Overall, I am proud of how these guys played this weekend – he hit the ball really well and did what we needed to do to win,” the coach added.

The mound wasn’t the only place Carroll was successful at however.

The Patriots trailed for the first time in the tournament, as the Rebels were able to take a 2-0 lead in the second.

The lead would not last for long.

After Justin McLaughlin got on base, Carroll, who was named the tournament MVP, hit a home run to tie the game at two.

The very next batter, Logan Stewart, followed suite by hitting pitch to almost the same exact location as Carroll did, and in the process gave the Patriots a 3-2 lead.

The Patriots were able to take a 4-2 lead, but were unable to hold it, as Carroll would give up a two-run home run in the next half inning, as the score became 4-4.

Again, the score would change when PLAS came up to bat.

The Patriots would score two quick runs to take a 6-4 lead, and then, with the bases loaded, Trey Walters broke the game open with a bases clearing double that gave his team a five-run lead.

After Carroll struck out the side in the top of the fourth, the Patriots’ bats stayed alive, this time thanks to a three-run home run by Blake Floyd.

The Patriots would score 13 runs in the bottom of the fourth due in large part to Coosa pitcher inability to find the plate.

“Always been told the top of the lineup is just as important as the bottom,” Floyd said.

“Each of us play important roles, and we are all trying to help this team out and score some runs.

“I think we are playing pretty well right now – got a lot to be happy about,” he added

Every PLAS starter had a hit and all but one had an RBI.

Carroll finished 4-5 with four RBIs while Floyd finished 3-3 with five RBIs.

“I was just trying to get the pitches in the spots,” Carroll said.

“Didn’t start off as well as I would have liked but I think I did ok.”

As far as his productivity in all aspects of the game, Carroll said he was concentrated on doing his best.

McLaughlin, Walters Floyd and Ross Hixon were all named to the All-Tournament team as well.

The Patriots outscored its three opponents in the tournament 53-4.