Pike Lib sweeps Cottonwood in wild playoff series

Published 9:29 pm Friday, April 26, 2024

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The Pike Liberal Arts Patriots swept the first two games with the Cottonwood Bears on Friday in the second round of the 2A State Baseball Playoffs to advance to the state quarterfinals.

In game one, Pike fell behind 1-0 in the first inning but managed to take a 2-1 lead into the second inning. The fourth inning is when the Patriots were able to break open the score with seven runs, however. PLAS never looked back and won 11-2 to take a 1-0 lead in the series.

Kade Brookins had a big game at the plate for PLAS, going 3-for-4 with a double, three RBIs and one run, while Cole Garrott went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs. Houston Gunter also went 2-for-4 with two runs and John Lott went 2-for-5 with three RBIs and one run.

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Luke Barron pitched five and 2/3 innings and struck out six batters, while giving up four hits and no earned runs. Peyton Elliot also struck out a batter and gave up no hits or runs in one and 1/3 innings on the mound.

For Cottonwood, Klete Meadows and Jaxxon Davis scored one run each. Austyn Miller took the loss on the mound, striking out three and giving up 10 hits and nine earned runs in four innings pitched.

Cottonwood looked like it would rebound to take game two only for the Patriots to rally and score six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to secure the series win with a 9-8 game two victory. Pike was aided by six players being hit by a pitch in the seventh along with two walks.

The two sides were tied 1-1 going into the fifth inning when the Bears scored six runs in the top of the fifth to go up 7-1. The Patriots scored two runs in the bottom of the inning to cut the lead to 7-3, but Cottonwood added another run in the top of the seventh.

Facing two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Pike loaded the bases after two Patriots were hit by pitches and another was walked. On the next two at bats, Patriots were again hit by pitch leading to two runs to cut the Cottonwood lead to 8-5.

With the bases loaded, Garrett Whitaker hit a line drive double into left field that drove Pruitt Vaughan, Cole Garrott and Elliot home to tie the score 8-8. With the bases loaded again, Houston Gunter was hit by a pitch driving Whitaker in for the winning run.

For Pike, Elliot went 3-for-3 with a triple, two RBIs and a run. Gunter went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run. Kade Brookins pitched four and 1/3 innings and struck out five batters, while giving up seven hits and five earned runs.

For Cottonwood, Davis went 3-for-3 at the plate with an RBI and a run. Braylon Morris pitched six and 2/3 innings and fanned eight batters, while giving up six hits and five earned runs.

Pike advances to the quarterfinals to face off against Bayshore Christian, who swept GW Long.  There will be two games hosted by Pike Liberal Arts on Thursday with the first game starting at 4:30pm and the second game starting after.  If needed, game three will be on Friday at 4:30pm.