Despite tallying nine runs on 12 hits, the West Limestone Wildcats baseball season came to an end Saturday afternoon in their 10-9 loss to the Hamilton Aggies in the second round of the 2021 AHSAA State Baseball Playoffs at Hamilton High School. This was the third and final game of the series after West split the doubleheader Friday night losing the first game 2-0 and taking game two 5-1.
The Aggies scored three runs in the bottom half of the sixth to retake the lead and ultimately advance into the next round.
The score went back and forth throughout the game. West put up five runs in the top of the second in large part due to an Ian Burroughs three-run triple that was followed up by an RBI single from Thorne Slaton. Ryan Britt got the fifth and final RBI in the second on a walk.
Hamilton came back with four runs within the next two innings bringing West’s lead to just 5-4.
West added one more in the top of the fifth on Slaton’s second RBI single of the game.
But the Aggies, despite being outhit by a margin of five, took their first lead of the game 7-6 lead in the bottom half of the fifth, brining three runs around to score.
The Wildcats scored three runs of their own in the sixth for the second of three lead changes in the game. River Helms tied things up at 7-7 with an RBI triple. Devlin Carter singled to left field for an RBI scoring the eighth run of the game for the Wildcats. Burroughs added his fourth RBI of the game batting in the ninth hole with an RBI single to centerfield scoring Carter.
That 9-7 advantage for the Wildcats could not be maintained as the Aggies scored their eighth on an error and Payton Purser added the go-ahead and ultimately game winning two run single.
The Wildcats end the season with an overall record 28-8.
“This season was about as much fun as you could have on the baseball field,” West head coach Ryan Griffin said. “The five seniors (Slaton, Britt, River Helms, Carter and Brody White) have left a mark on West Limestone forever. They were truly team guys that played every day to win for our team and school. They can never be replaced, but I know they left a positive impact on our program.”
Overall, Griffin couldn’t be prouder of the team as a whole.
“I’m really proud of all the guys this season,” he said. “We left it all out on the field and I really can’t look back with any regrets.”
Game one: Lindsay Lane Christian Lions 2, Donoho Falcons 1
LLCA’s Ray Anderson was sensational on the mound in the first game. He went 5 1/3 allowing one run on two hits with 14 strikeouts. He issued three walks. Seth Mitchell came in for relief for one inning allowing just one hit and two walks. Micah Perkins closed things out with one strikeout in the two batters that he faced. The Lions totaled five hits in the game. Max Morrison had three of the five hits. Sam Hogue went 1-for-3 with one RBI and Ben Frasier added the other hit.
“Our pitching was great throughout the series highlighted by Ray Anderson’s game one win,” LLCA head coach Charles Morrison said.
Game two: Donoho 3, LLCA 2
It was another one-run affair, this time with the Falcons coming out on top. Perkins started on the hill for the Lions. He pitched a complete game allowing three runs on four hits (REA and two walks. He stuck out 10. The Lions had six hits. Frasier went 2-for-3 with an RBI double. Jackson Carter also went 2-for-3. Perkins had one hit with one RBI.
“We came in Friday and played two great games, but unfortunately couldn’t close it out in game two,” Charles Morrison said.
Game three: Donoho 5, LLCA 1
After splitting the doubleheader Friday, the Lions were back in action Saturday afternoon. Seth Mitchell was the starter for the Lions in game three. He allowed five hits in his five innings of work. In those five innings, five runs came across to score, but only two of them were earned. Had had seven walks with three strikeouts. Frasier pitched one inning giving up one hit and one walk with one strikeout. The Lions mustered up four hits in their final game. Perkins, Hogue, AJ Davis and David Ratje each had one hit.
LLCA finished their season with a 20-12 record. “It always hurts to finish the season, but we have a young team this year and with all nine starters returning,” Morrison said. “We’ll work hard and plan on being better next year.”
Game one: Ardmore Tigers 3, Alexandria Valley Cubs 1
Game 2: Alexandria 12, Ardmore 6
Game 3: Alexandria 11, Ardmore 2
The Ardmore Tigers baseball season also came to an end Saturday. The Tigers finished the season with a 17-21 record.