Playoffs begin April 21-22 for area baseball teams
Published 12:33 pm Thursday, April 20, 2023
By Carey Reeder | Staff Writer
Then there were four.
After tens of games on their schedules, four Chilton County area baseball teams advanced to their respective state playoffs by either winning or finishing runner-up in their areas.
Billingsley High School is the only area school to win their area title this season securing the AHSAA Class 1A Area 6 crown. The Bears outlasted Maplesville and Verbena high schools who are also in the area, along with Autaugaville High School.
The Bears went a perfect 6-0 in area play to win their first area crown since 2020. That Billingsley team did not get a chance to play in the playoffs due to the COVID-19 pandemic shutting the season down beforehand. Before that, the last area title for Billingsley was around 2015.
“It is good for the community to be able to come out and support these guys (April 21) in the first round,” Billingsley coach Jeffrey Alexander said on April 18. “We are taking it game by game and day by day. We are really focused on these next three practices on fixing and correcting whatever we need to make a deep run in the playoffs this year.”
Winning the area gave the Bears a home first round series with University Charter School on April 21 starting at 4:30 p.m. followed by game two right after. If needed, the third and deciding game of the series will be on April 22 at noon.
Maplesville secured second place in the area by sweeping its two games over Verbena and Autaugaville High School. The Red Devils travel to Sweet Water High School on April 21 first their first round series starting at 3 p.m. with game two to follow after. The third game, if needed, will be on April 22 at 2 p.m.
“We played in a really tough area this year and we are excited to have a chance to go to the playoffs having played some tough games,” Maplesville coach Justin Little said. “Our guys are excited, and they are excited for the trip to go down there and try to play some good ball.”
Chilton County High School earned a split with both Calera and Helena high schools in the AHSAA Class 6A Area 5 schedule to earn a trip to the playoffs. The Tigers split their series with Calera in March, and after Calera was swept by Helena, it set up a crucial series with Helena on April 10 and 12.
CCHS lost game one 6-1 and needed a win in game two to avoid a potential one-game playoff with Calera for the runner-up spot in the area. However, the Tigers prevailed 12-2 on April 12 over Helena to lock up the runner-up spot.
“I like where our team is at right now, and we have a lot of life, energy and belief coming into the (series) from last week,” CCHS coach Ryan Ellison said. “We are going to go out there and compete to the best of our ability.”
CCHS travels to Stanhope Elmore High School on April 21 for its first round series starting at 4:30 p.m. with game two after. Game three of the series, if needed, will be on April 22 at noon.
Thorsby and Isabella high schools share the AHSAA Class 2A Area 6, and the Rebels were the beneficiary of a late season split with eventual area champion Reeltown High School. Thorsby lost to Reeltown 12-2 on April 11, but turned around three days later to beat them 5-2 to secure second place in the area and a spot in the state playoffs. Thorsby finished their area schedule with a 5-1 record including season sweeps over Isabella and Central of Coosa County High School.
“We tried to force a game three and then see what happened after that,” Thorsby coach Drew Wood said. “There are some things (G.W. Long High School) does that we are trying to prepare for. We know how good they are, and we are the underdog going into their place, but we have a plan we are going to try to execute and see what happens. There is no pressure on us.”
Thorsby sets up a date with G.W. Long in the first round on April 21 starting at 4:30 p.m. with game two after. Game three of the series, if needed, will be on April 22 at 1 p.m.
Chilton County area baseball first round playoff schedule
- Chilton County @ Stanhope Elmore: April 21 at 4:30/7 p.m. (If needed, April 22 at noon)
- Thorsby @ G.W. Long: April 21 at 4:30/7 p.m. (If needed, April 22 at 1 p.m.)
- Maplesville @ Sweet Water: April 21 at 3/5:30 p.m. (If needed, April 22 at 2 p.m.)
- University Charter @ Billingsley: April 21 at 4:30/7 p.m. (If needed, April 22 at noon)