Pike Lib captures 20th Annual Jonah McWaters Baseball Tournament Crown

Published 8:51 am Monday, February 26, 2024

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The Pike Liberal Arts Patriots won the Jonah McWaters Baseball Tournament Championship over the weekend, defeating Trinity Presbyterian by a score of 9-5 in the Championship round.

After defeating Straughn in the opening day on Feb. 22, the Patriots followed up with a 14-11 win over Class 5A Montgomery Catholic on Feb. 23. Pike was aided by an 8-run second inning against the Knights.

Pruitt Vaughan led PLAS at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a double, three RBIs and two runs. John Lott, Kade Brookins and Hudson Hollinghead each scored two runs in the win, while Peyton Elliot and Luke Barron scored one run each. Hollinghead and Jackson Mitchell both stole two bases, as well.

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Braden Shirley pitched two and 2/3rd innings and fanned three batters, while giving up three hits and two earned runs. Barron also pitched one and 1/3 innings with two strikeouts, along with giving up two hits and two earned runs, while Elliot pitched one inning and struck out a batter along with giving up a hit and one earned run.

The elimination round began on Feb. 24 and Pike Lib opened up with a rematch against Straughn, dominating their way into the championship round with an 11-1 win. Pike Lib had a big third inning, scoring six sun runs and the Patriot defense held the Tigers to just one run and six total hits.

Houston Gunter had a big game at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a stolen base, one RBI and one run. Brookins went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run, while Rhodes Baker went 2-for-2 with three RBIs and two runs. Elliot and Dawson Bradford scored two runs each.

Bradford got the win on the mound, striking out two batters, while giving up four hits and one earned run in four innings pitched. Charlie Fountain pitched the other inning and gave up two hits with no runs.

Pike Lib won the 2024 Jonah McWaters Baseball Tournament.

The Patriots closed out the tournament with a 9-5 victory over Trinity later in the day on Feb. 24. Pike went into the seventh inning with the score tied 3-3 when the Patriots exploded to score six runs in the top of the seventh.

John Lott opened up the scoring barrage with an RBI single that drove Jackson Mitchell home and then Brookins belted a double into left field to drive both Cole Garrott and Gunter in for runs. Next, Elliot’s double sent Lott and Brookins home and an RBI single from Barron drove Elliot home.

Trinity attempted a rally in the bottom of the inning but could muster just two more runs before the Patriots shut it down and secured the championship win.

Elliot went 2-for-4 at the plate with a double, two RBIs and one run, while Barron went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run. Gunter and Lott both scored two runs each.

Brookins mowed down a tournament-high 10 batters in his five innings on the mound and gave up just four hits and two earned runs, while Barron pitched the other two innings and struck out a pair of batters along with giving up three hits and two earned runs.