Ariton repeats as Class 2A State Champs

Published 3:14 pm Thursday, May 16, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Ariton Purple Cats have repeated as Class 2A State Champions for the second consecutive year after defeating Mars Hill Bible in the 2A State Championship series this week.

Ariton’s second state championship in school history comes after also winning the title in 2023. The Cats ended 2024 season with a combined record of 30-9-1 and a playoff record of 10-2.

Mars Hill took the early series lead, winning game one by a score of 7-4 on May 15 in Oxford. Easton Kilpatrick led Ariton at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a triple and a run. Ian Senn pitched a complete game, striking out eight batters and giving up 10 hits and six earned runs in seven innings on the mound.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

For Mars Hill, Jack Irby went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs. Brooks Campbell pitched five and 1/3 innings, striking out five and giving up seven hits and three earned runs.

Ariton rebounded on Thursday, winning game two by a score of 6-1 on the campus of Jacksonville State University to tie the series and force a deciding game three later in the day.

Jessie Pelham led Ariton, going 2-for-4 with a run, while Dalton Murphy went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Austin Evans pitched all seven innings and fanned six batters along with giving up seven hits and one earned run.

For Mars Hill, Jay Dobbs went 2-for-3 with a run and two stolen bases. Cam Isbell struck out one batter and gave up nine hits and five earned runs in six innings pitched.

Ariton secured its second straight state crown with an 11-6 win in game three to take the series. Ariton jumped out ahead 5-0 in the first inning. While Mars Hill cut the lead to 5-3 in the second, the Purple Cats then scored four runs in the fourth and two more in the top of the fifth inning to go up 11-3. Mars Hill tried to rally, scoring three runs in the next two innings, but couldn’t draw any closer.

Murphy had a big game three for the Cats, going 3-for-3 at the plate with three RBIs, while Caden Collier, Cook and Lawson Leger scored two runs each. Cook also stole three bases. Kilpatrick earned the win on the mound, striking out five batters and giving up seven hits and three earned runs in five innings of work.

For Mars Hill, Isbell went 3-for-4 at the plate with a double. Jaxon Poag pitched three and 1/3 innings and fanned one batter, while giving up one hit and no earned runs.