Published 10:31 pm Friday, March 14, 2014
Pikes fends off elimination with blowout win, has tall order on Saturday to win title
All Butch Austin wanted was a win on Friday.
What he got was win with authority.
Pike Liberal Arts rolled past Ashford Academy 15-0 in an elimination game in the Jonah McWaters Tournament Friday afternoon at Butch Austin Field in Troy.
Pike overmatched the Falcons in every phase of the game, and fended off elimination for the second-straight game.
Already out to an 11-0 lead, the Patriots dealt a deadly blow in the bottom of the third.
Pike’s Blake Cumbie sent a ball deep and over the outfield wall for a grand slam to put an explanation point on the blowout win.
Austin was happy for Cumbie.
“It is Blake’s first homerun, and I sure am proud for him,” said Austin. “He has struggled some this year, but maybe this will get him going. He smiled after he hit, which is the first time I have seen him smile since he came over here to school. But I believe, my smile was bigger than his.”
To win the tournament for the eighth time in nine years, Pike will have to win three games on Saturday.
The Patriots lost to Abbeville in the opening round of the tournament on Thursday, and have had to claw from behind.
Despite the big challenge, Austin is excited to see what Saturday has to offer.
“There are some really good ball teams left, and we are one of them,” said Austin. “We have some pitching left, and I like what we got. I hope we play for a long time on Saturday.”