Tigers fall to Patriots to end area title streak

Published 6:42 pm Friday, April 3, 2015

Just in time: Corbin Bice beats a throw to third base in a contest against Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa on Thursday.

Just in time: Corbin Bice beats a throw to third base in a contest against Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa on Thursday.

By Brandon Sumrall/Special to the Advertiser

With four consecutive area titles under its belt, the Chilton County Tigers baseball team entered a must-win situation on Friday night against the visiting Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa Patriots if they hoped to extend that streak to five.

After a 4-0 loss on the road to the Patriots on Tuesday, the Tigers (12-12 overall, 2-3 area) needed to pick up wins in both games at home on Thursday night.

The Patriots (16-7, 5-0) quickly dashed any hopes the Tigers had of a fifth area crown early in Game 1 with a five-run top of the first inning and went on to a 7-4 win in Game 1, and took a 12-7 win in Game 2.

In Game 1, with two runs already on the board for the Patriots in the top of the first inning, a Tyler Turner single up the middle scored another Hillcrest run, and a two-run home run by Corbin Horst gave the Patriots a 5-0 lead.

Garren Minor reached as far as third in the home half of the inning with a one-out single, but was stranded there as the Tigers failed to push him across the plate.

The Patriots picked up another run in the top of the second on a Cole Frederick run-scoring single to push their lead to 6-0.

A Tolliver Gilliland one-hopper to the outfield wall gave the Tigers a man on with one out in the bottom of the second. Gilliland later scored on a Patriots error to cut the Patriots? lead to five after two innings of play.

With the top of the third inning passing quietly, the Tigers picked up one more in the bottom half of the inning when a Cade Hatch leadoff double led to a sacrifice fly by Hunter Bennett to make the score 6-2 after three innings of play.

A leadoff single by Brylan Pate in the top of the fourth inning set up an RBI single by Horst to make the score 7-2.

Corbin Bice started the bottom of the fourth with a single, and later scored on a Patriots error, while a Dustin Cleckler single led to a sacrifice fly by Hatch to give the Tigers two runs in the inning and brought the game to its final score of 7-4.

The fifth inning came and went with the the Patriots going in order in the top of the sixth inning, the Tigers were down to their final six outs.

Cleckler led off the inning with a single back up the middle, and with walks to Hatch and Minor, the Tigers loaded the bases with only one out.

Two Tiger strikeouts brought the scoring threat to an end and kept the score at 7-4.

A one-out single by Bice in the bottom of the seventh inning gave the Tigers runners on second and third following a single by Gilliland.

With two on and one out, the Tigers again stranded two runners following a strikeout and infield ground ball to bring the game to a close.

Bice lead the Tigers at the plate with a 3-for-4 performance with three singles. Minor pitched five innings for the Tigers with three hits allowed, three strikeouts and one earned run.