Patriots sweep Eagles, advance to semifinals

Published 6:16 pm Friday, April 26, 2019

After poor weather washed away the conclusion of game two between Pike Liberal Arts and Fort Dale on Thursday afternoon, the two teams concluded their playoff series on Friday with the Patriots finishing off a 17-2 win over the Eagles.

After knocking off The Eagles 10-0 in game one, the Patriots raced out to a 9-2 lead in game two. Heading into the bottom of the second inning, rain made an appearance, forcing the game to be halted until Friday afternoon. Chandler Golden started the game 2-2 with two RBI. Jade Sikes also picked up two RBI in the first two innings.

When the game resumed on Friday, the Patriots added eight more runs and defeated the Eagles in four innings.

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The win for the Patriots advances them to next week’s semifinals.

“We want to be playing our best ball at the right time,” said head coach Allen Ponder. “I feel like we are playing good ball right now. We played very well these two games against Fort Dale, who has some quality arms. I am very proud with how we swung it and how we pitched. Hopefully we can carry over that momentum into next week.”

After Sikes pitched the first inning on Thursday night, Golden took his turn this afternoon. Golden pitched the remaining three innings and allowed just two hits, while striking out one batter.

After holding the Eagles at bay in the second inning, the Patriots added to their lead in the third. Davis Allen walked with one out and came around to score on a Sikes double. Sikes came around to score one batter later on a Tristan Carter single to put the Patriots up 11-2.

The Patriots sent nine batters to the plate in the fourth and racked up six runs. The Patriots had an RBI double by Golden and RBI singles by Cody Hollis, Allen, Sikes and Holt Steed, putting the Patriots up 17-2.

The Patriots finished the game with 13 hits. Sikes and Golden both went a perfect 3-3 at the plate and had a combined 7 RBI. Hollis and Carter each picked up two hits, while Trevor Barron, Allen and Steed each had one.

The Patriots outscored the Eagles 27-2 over the course of their two game series. The Patriots out-hit the Eagles 26-7.

“That is something that we have been missing this year,” Ponder said. “We haven’t been consistent this year swinging the bat. These last two games, seeing us string some hits together and continue to find barrels is something that you want to see.”

The Patriots will now sit back and wait to determine their next opponent. If Glenwood defeats Tuscaloosa Academy, the Gators will pay a visit to Troy. If the Knights win, the Patriots will go up to Tuscaloosa.

“We are going to work on us,” Ponder said. “We are not going to work on other teams. If we can be the best that we can be, I believe we are going to be hard to beat no matter who we play.”