Bears win last regular season game over Mustangs
Published 11:04 am Tuesday, April 18, 2023
By Carey Reeder | Staff Writer
Billingsley High School erased an early game deficit to win its last regular season game over Isabella High School 20-6 on the road. The Bears last game before the AHSAA Class 1A state baseball tournament saw multiple players put together multi-hit games including Nathan Gilmore going 4-for-5 with three RBIs.
Isabella erupted for five runs in the second inning to jump out to an early 5-0 lead. Garrett Traywick and Austin Porter each had an RBI single to plate three of the five runs in the inning. The Mustangs got two more runs from a fielder’s choice and a walk with the bases loaded.
“I thought we played really well,” Billingsley coach Jeffrey Alexander said. “When we came in from getting that last out being down 5-0, I told the guys ‘Hey, we have not been in this situation all year.’ It showed how much character, grit and adversity we can overcome.”
In the next half inning, Billingsley loaded the bases, and Landon Jones stepped to the plate. Jones pounced on a first-pitch fastball and hit a grand slam over the left field fence to cut the lead down to 5-4 with one swing. The Bears got two more runs on a sacrifice fly to take a 6-5 lead.
Jones was 2-for-4 with a double, five RBIs and the big home run.
Billingsley’s starting pitcher Kyle Boice was a bit roughed up during his five innings on the mound, but he helped his cause at the plate with an RBI single in the fourth inning. Another run in the inning gave the Bears an 8-5 lead. Boice was 4-for-6 with a double and two RBIs.
In the fifth inning, Isabella’s Austin Porter knocked a RBI double to play the Mustangs sixth run of the game. However, Porter was thrown out stretching it to third base to end the inning and the score held at 8-6. Porter led the way for the Isabella offense with a 4-for-4 effort with three RBIs. Dawson Edwards and Eli Boatwright each had a RBI.
The final two innings were dominated by Billingsley who scored 12 runs on eight hits. Jason Smith took over for Boice on the mound and tossed two shutout innings giving up just two hits.
“We continued to add runs and cut down on some errors and walks,” Alexander said. “I was really proud of the guys for not laying down.”
Hunter Wyatt was a standout performer for Billingsley with four RBIs. Hudson Manning and Marshal Headley joined Wyatt and Smith with two hits each.
Isabella’s season comes to an end finishing in third place in the Class 1A Area 6 standings. Billingsley shifts its attention to the state playoffs as it hosts University Charter School on April 21 at 4:30 p.m. in the first round. The second game of the first-round series will follow at 7 p.m., and if a third game is necessary, it will be on April 22 at noon. All state tournament rounds are three-game series.