Pike hits the road for weekend tourney in Tuscaloosa

Published 10:47 pm Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tuscaloosa Academy traveled south last week, and upset the No. 2-ranked Pike Liberal Arts in the Jonah McWaters Tournament.

This weekend, Pike Liberal will head north looking to give Tuscaloosa the same fate in its home tournament.

Pike lost the tournament opener to Abbeville Christian last week, and had to fight from the loser’s bracket the rest of the weekend.

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After winning two games on Saturday morning, Pike faced Tuscaloosa in the title game.

The Patriots led early, and rallied late to tie the game in the seventh inning. But it would be for not, as Tuscaloosa scored a run in the bottom of the final inning to claim the win and the tournament title.

“They got a really good ball team,” said Pike head coach Butch Austin. “We played well against them, and I think we can beat them.”

The two schools have had an intense rivalry over the past couple of seasons.

Pike knocked off Tuscaloosa in the 2012 AISA State Championship, and the Knights eliminated the Pats from the playoffs last season.

The two schools have also combined to win all nine Jonah McWaters Tournaments.

Pike won the first seven, while Tuscaloosa has won the last two.

“The rivalry started back in 2012,” said Austin with smile “Their coach told me that they could beat us a thousand times, but it wouldn’t make up for 2012. We hope to return the favor to them this weekend.”