By Jonathan Deal
Leading by two runs with the bases loaded in the seventh inning in a third-round playoff game, Athens Bible eighth-grader Kenneth Adams entered the game to pitch Friday afternoon. A standing-room-only home crowd watched as Adams retired Decatur Heritage’s final batter to preserve a 4-2 opening game win for ABS.
The Trojans’ bats came alive in the second game in a 13-3, six-inning victory that sent them to the 1A semifinals.
In the first game, ABS opened the scoring in the second inning when Ethan Thomas singled to drive home Drew Ogles after Ogles, Cole Graviett and Adam Dunnaway opened the inning with singles.
The Trojans extended their lead in the fourth when Ogles tripled to score Graviett. David Cundiff and Dunnaway each doubled on the next two at bats to make it 3-0 ABS entering the fifth.
Zach Ivey got ABS out of a bind in the top of the fifth when he preserved the shutout by forcing consecutive batters to pop out.
The Trojans added another run in the bottom of the fifth when Ogles' floater to right field scored Tyler Hudson from third.
Decatur Heritage came storming back in the seventh when Kyle Stewart opened the inning with a solo home run.
Grayson Wakefield added another run for the Eagles to pull within 4-2 and Hayden Sutton came in to relieve Ivey. Sutton got two batters to pop out, but not before loading the bases.
With no room for error, Adams entered the game. Adams struck out the only batter he faced to get the save.
The Trojans had far less trouble in the second game, jumping out to a 10-1 lead through four innings. Leading 5-1 at the end of three, ABS scored five in the top of the fourth.
The game appeared to all but over in the fifth when Athens Bible added two more runs, but Stewart hit another solo homer to keep Decatur Heritage alive another inning. A single run in the top of sixth ended the game and sent ABS to the fourth round.
Wright Overton went 3 for 5 and scored two runs to lead ABS in the second game. Ogles was 3 for 4 with two RBIs while Carter Corneil had a pair of hits and two runs scored.
Graviett was the winning pitcher, striking out two batters while giving up four hits.
Athens Bible will host the winner of Cedar Bluff and South Lamar in a fourth-round playoff series Friday, May 9.