Purple Cats sweep their way to quarterfinals

The Ariton Purple Cats swept the Ranburne Bulldogs this weekend in the second round of the Class 2A State Baseball Playoffs.

Ariton picked up a game one win on Friday by a score of 7-6 when Connor Thrash hit a walk-off single – with the game tied 6-6 – to drive Caden Collier home for the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Hughes Hammock went 2-for-2 at the plate for Ariton with an RBI and a run, while Collier went 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs. Phenix Steed pitched four innings and struck out six batters, while giving up four hits and no earned runs. Coleman Bragg fanned four batters and gave up three hits and one earned run in four innings on the mound.

Ariton closed out the series in dominant fashion, besting Ranburne 8-2 in the second game of the doubleheader. Ariton never trailed in the game two win. Collier went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI and three runs in game two, while Trash went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run. Phenix Griffin pitched six innings and mowed down eight batters, while giving up four hits and two earned runs. Landon Tyler also pitched one inning and retired one batter.

The second round win propels Ariton into the quarterfinals for the second straight season. Ariton made it all the way to the semifinals last year, as well. The Purple Cats will play Fayetteville at home in a doubleheader on May 6 beginning at 4:30 p.m. If a game three is needed, the two sides will meet on May 7 at 1 p.m.