Ariton bests Pike Lib in third round series

Published 8:03 pm Thursday, May 4, 2023

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The Pike Liberal Arts Patriots saw their inaugural season in the AHSAA come to an end on Thursday with a 14-4 loss to the Ariton Purple Cats in the third round of the Class 2A State Playoffs.

After Pike and Ariton split a doubleheader on Wednesday, the third game determined who would advance to the state semifinals against GW Long. Artion took a 1-0 lead in the first inning and then exploded to score seven runs in the second and never trailed in the contest.

Pike struggled at the plate in the loss, earning just four hits as a team. Jackson Booth, Luke Barron, Payne Jefcoat and Levi DeBoer had one hit each. Booth scored two runs, while DeBoer and Cole Garrott scored one run.

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A total of four Patriot pitchers toed the rubber in the loss. Garrott pitched two innings and gave up six hits and three earned runs, while Kade Brookins started the game and gave up three hits and one earned run in one and 1/3 innings pitched. Jefcoat pitched one and 1/3 innings and Davis Kilcrease pitched one inning. John Lott, Kilcrease and Pruitt Vaughan each earned a double play.

For Ariton, Connor Thrash went 3-for-4 at the plate with a home run, a double, five RBIs and two runs. Caden Collier went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs. Lawson Leger got the win on the mound, striking out one batter and giving up three hits and two earned runs. Austin Evans pitched three innings and gave up one hit and one earned run with two strikeouts.

Ariton will play at Long in the semifinals next week. It’s the third consecutive year the two sides have met in the semifinals.