Bears’ runs comes to and end in semifinal round

Published 2:17 pm Friday, May 8, 2015

By Brandon Sumrall

Billingsley’s baseball team advanced further in the state playoffs than any other squad in school history, but the run came to an end in the semifinal round Thursday with losses to Brantley (6-2 and 6-1).

The Bears (18-8) went blow-for-blow with the Bulldogs (11-17) through much of the early innings of both games, but timely hits and a few Billingsley errors would give Brantley the wins.

Billingsley's Jarrett Acreman (left) rushes back safely to first base on a pickoff attempt during Thursday's semifinal action.

Billingsley’s Jarrett Acreman (left) rushes back safely to first base on a pickoff attempt during Thursday’s semifinal action.

BHS went quietly through the top of the first inning of Game 2, and Adrian Person gave the Bulldogs an early 1-0 lead in bottom half of the inning with a RBI single.

Kendall Elrod’s one-out double did nothing for the Bears’ cause, as back-to-back ground ball outs ended the top of the second.

Still down 1-0 in the top of the third inning, Garrett Harrell led off the half inning with a single to the right side, and a single by Tyler Powell tied the game at 1-all.

The lead was short-lived, as the Bulldogs reeled off three runs in the bottom of the third.

A one-out ground-rule double by Jacob Free was followed by a single by Tate Tatum to give the Bulldogs two on with one out.

Person follow with a ground ball up the middle and reached safely after a Bears error that also allowed Free to score.

A Mack Wise shot back up the middle scored Tatum and Person to extend the Bulldogs’ lead to three, 4-1.

Two consecutive fielder’s choices and a strike out brought the top of the fourth inning to a close, while the Bulldogs added one more in the bottom half when Free scored on a Bears error to make the score 5-1.

Noah Godwin started off the Bears in the top of the sixth inning by reaching on a walk but ran into a force out at second base on a ground ball by Eric Willis.

Jarret Acreman gave Billingsley two on with one out, but a pick off attempt by the Bulldogs’ catcher down to first base brought the top of the sixth inning to a close.

One more Bulldogs run in the bottom half of the sixth inning on another Billingsley error put the Bears in a five-run deficit as the game went to the top of the seventh inning.

Two strike outs to start the inning knocked the Bears down to their final out, and a pop up to the Bulldogs’ shortstop brought the game to a close and sent Brantley on to the championship round.

“I could not be any prouder of this entire group of guys,” Billingsley coach Ricky Atcheson said. “We had an absolutely amazing season. We didn’t quite reach our ultimate goal, but to make school history by becoming the first Billingsley baseball team to make the semifinals is pretty special.”

Harrell got the start for the Bears in Game 2 and pitched four innings, allowing two earned runs on nine hits and one walk while striking out three.

Powell went 2-for-3 with two singles and an RBI at the plate for Billingsley.

Free pitched a complete game for the Bulldogs, allowing one earned run on six hits and three walks while striking out eight.

Free also went 3-for-3 at the plate with two doubles.