No doubt: Patiots claim Jonah McWaters Tourney

Published 9:22 pm Saturday, March 19, 2011

For over a decade, Pike Liberal Arts has been the home for the Jonah McWaters Tournament.

Each time, the Patriots have been the last team standing, claiming victory to the championship trophy.

In 2011, the song remained the same.

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Thanks to a 10-run first inning, PLAS was able to secure another tournament championship game, beating Northside Methodist, 17-2 in three innings.

“First off, I just want to thank everyone that worked this tournament,” head coach Butch Austin said.

“This was the best tournament we have ever had, and I want to thank everyone that helped make it possible.”

In the first inning, the Patriots sent 14 batters to the plate, with 10 scoring.

Every batter reached base safely, with the highlights of the inning coming from Robert Benton, Josh Starling and Evan Strother who each had two RBIs.

In the second inning, Sam Carroll picked up right where he left off from in the earlier game, hitting his second grand slam of the day, to make it 15-0.

On the mound, Carroll was just as dominant, pitching a complete game while striking out seven.

The senior threw 33 strikes to just 11 balls.

For his work at the plate and on the field, Carroll was named Tournament MVP for the second consecutive year.

“It’s a huge honor,” Carroll said for the MVP.

“We came in this game looking for the win and we took care of business.”

The win was the Patriots 16th straight win and in the four tournament games, PLAS outscored its opponents 61-5.

“Everyone is seeing the ball well, everyone is focused,” Strother said.

“Everybody contributed in this game. But we are looking to get better every day. Hopefully, we are going to be able to feed of this win.”

Both Nick McLaughlin and Robert Benton joined Carroll in post game honors, as both were named to the All-Tournament Team.

“We got the win. I think we are playing as good as we can play right now – I hate to see Spring Break coming next week,” Austin said with a laugh.

The Patriots will be in action again next weekend in the Tuscaloosa Academy Tournament.