Rebels are county champs

Published 11:46 pm Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Have you ever coached a baseball game using a cell phone while driving down the road?

You might not be able to say you have, but Thorsby’s head baseball coach, Ab Argent, can now add such an accomplishment to his resume.

With his team set to play in the Chilton County Baseball Tournament championship Tuesday, Argent was off to scout the Rebels’ opponent, Ranburne, in the Class 2A state playoffs set to start Friday.

“I have great assistant coaches that made this possible, but this was something completely new to me,” Argent said, still in his truck, driving back from the trip. “It was nerve racking.”

With Argent on the cell phone in the dug out, his team came back from two runs down to beat the homestanding Jemison Panthers and claim the county championship, winning 5-3.

“Our pitching was good tonight, as it has been the whole year,” Thorsby assistant coach Billy Jackson said. “We had a slow start to tonight’s game, but we were able to get it going.”

The slow start came in the form of errors and baserunning mistakes, which helped Jemison take and hold on to a 2-0 lead heading into the third inning.

But, in that inning, Thorsby was able to get the bats going and create a little luck of their own.

Trent Glosson led off the frame with a walk, and Brantley Bice reached two batters later on a Jemison fielding error. The next Rebel batter, sophomore Christian Socia, who has been out of action since the third game of the season, hit a double off the center field fence, scoring Glosson from third.

Bice scored next from third base when a bloop single by Joseph Prather fell into left field, tying the game at two.

The two teams exchanged three-and-out half innings in the fourth, and the Thorsby defense was able to make up for a passed ball in the top of the fifth to keep the score tied at two heading into their half of the fifth.

With one out, Bice reached first base on another Jemison error, and Socia was able to move him to third and get to second himself on a mishandled fly ball to left field that resulted in a two-base error.

With runners on second and third, and one out, Prather hit a 3-1 pitch over the left field fence for a three-run home run. The runs gave the Rebels a 5-2 lead heading into the final two innings.

Glosson, who was brought in to pitch in the sixth, was able to keep the Panther offense in check, allowing just one run over the final two innings.

“It’s always special to win your county’s championship and by beating a team that is from a bigger school and on their field,” Argent said. “But, now, our eyes are set on Friday and the playoffs.

“It is a good feeling to have this kind of momentum heading into the playoffs.”

The Rebels will travel to Ranburne Friday for the first game in the best of three first round series.