Fitting end for county baseball tournament

Published 12:00 pm Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A ho-hum ending just wouldn’t have done.

Not after the Chilton County Baseball Tournament was moved away from Clanton’s Jack Hayes Field for the first time. Not after the tournament was changed from a double elimination format to single elimination for the first time in a long time. Not after the tournament was postponed because of severe weather (and it looked like the weather would cancel the event permanently the second time). Not after Verbena and four-time defending champion Chilton County dropped out of the tournament because of scheduling conflicts. Not after a 24-1 game in the tournament’s first round.

And not after—and this probably won’t matter to anyone not employed by The Clanton Advertiser—editor Tim Reeves covered the championship game instead myself, the sports editor (I was enjoying a steak at the Chilton Auburn Club’s 43rd Annual Unsung Hero Award Banquet while Tim was munching on a hot dog).

No, after all that, ordinary just wouldn’t have cut it. After all that, the county baseball tournament had to end in a strange way. And strange it was.

Thorsby, which even coach Ab Argent has admitted hasn’t performed especially well at these events, won the 2009 version of the tournament with a 5-3, come-from-behind decision over host Jemison.

But the strange part wasn’t that a Class 2A team defeated a Class 4A team. Instead, the difference was that Joseph Prather blasted his first home run of the season, a three-run shot, and only the Rebels’ third of the year in such a game. And Thorsby catcher Christian Sorcia made an impact in his first start since a sever injury in the third game of the season.

Then it gets stranger. Thorsby coach Ab Argent wasn’t at the game, instead spending the night scouting Thorsby’s opponent in the first round of the state playoffs Friday, Ranburne. Argent gave instructions via his cell phone, and the strategy seems to have worked.

For this county tournament, this was the only way it could have ended.