Patriots advance at state

Published 3:00 am Friday, April 8, 2016

Landon Thrash and Clay Barron combined to throw a three-inning no hitter in Pike Junior varsity’s 17-0 win over Kingwood in the first round of the AISA Junior Varsity State Invitational on Thursday.

“Everybody did a great job,” said Patriots head coach Jonathon Valdez. “It was a great start. It was a great game defensively. We didn’t make any errors. The momentum was up. Everything was great.”

The Patriots scored four runs in the first inning before unleashing a 13-run barrage on the Lions in the second inning to end the game after three innings.

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“They did what I have been asking them to do the whole season,” Valdez said. “They did their job when they had men on base and played small ball by moving runners and stealing bases.

Barron took the ball for the Patriots to start the game and pitched one inning of perfect baseball by not surrendering a hit or a walk. Thrash came in in the second inning and pitched the remaining two innings, allowing no runs, no hits, two walks and four strikeouts.

“They stepped up,” Valdez said. “They stayed ahead in the count and threw strikes. They made them hit and maid their defense play for them.”

The Patriots scored their 17 runs on 11 hits. Davis Allen, Jade Sikes and Tristen Carter finished with two hits each. Sikes led the way in RBIs with four, while Cole McWhorter had two had three.

The Patriots sent a total of 13 batters to the plate in the second inning and blew the game wide open.

The Patriots had seven hits in the inning and Tristen Carter, Barron, Allen, Jackson Blair, Sikes, McWhorter, Ty Singleton, Max Copeland and Cody Hollis all came around to score in the inning, while Sikes, Barron and Blair all came around to score twice.

With the win the Patriots advanced to day two of the tournament. They will play Edgewood at 8 a.m. Friday.

“That is a challenge we have been waiting for,” Valdez said. “We know Edgewood is one of the top teams.