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Hartselle Enquirer
Priceville fans celebrate a run during the first game of the doubleheader against St. John Paul II in the 4A state quarterfinals. Enquirer photo by Jeronimo Nisa

Priceville’s best season in program history ends in state quarterfinals

The Priceville Bulldogs baseball season ended in the 4A state quarterfinals in a series loss to St. John Paull II. The Bulldogs won game one 6-2 but lost game two 7-6 and then game three 8-6.

The season will be one that Priceville fans won’t soon forget. The Bulldogs were the top-ranked team in 4A the season’s final three weeks and heading into the playoffs. They won a school-record 29 games that, included a 14-game winning streak. They also advanced to the third round for only the second time in school history, the first coming in 2005.

Game one: Priceville 6, JPII 2

The Bulldogs scored two in the first when Wes Walker hit a towering two-run home run. They added four more runs in the second when Priceville had four hits, including a double and a triple. Then, with the Bulldogs leading 6-0, pitcher JoJo Garrison did the rest.

Garrison pitched a complete game, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out six.

Game two: JPII 7, Priceville 6

The Bulldogs found themselves in a 6-0 hole after two innings in game two of their quarterfinals playoff series. But Priceville dug deep, battled back, and would not go away without a fight.

The Bulldogs cut the lead to 6-2 in the top of the fifth with runs by Brayden Burney and Ty Parker.

With Priceville trailing 6-2, they mounted a spirited comeback in the top of the seventh. An intentional walk of Walker with the bases loaded brought home Burney to cut the lead to three. After Garrison was hit by a pitch, Zach Chaney scored to cut the lead to two.JPII then walked Thomas Kerby to force home Jackson Prickett to cut the lead to 6-5. Ryan Hanks’ sacrifice fly scored Thomas Ferguson to tie the game at 6-6 heading to the bottom of the seventh.

JPII scored the winning run in the bottom of the inning with the help of two Priceville errors.

Burney had two hits and scored two runs to lead Priceville, while Prickett had a hit, an RBI and a run scored.

Kerby took the loss after allowing seven runs (five earned) on seven hits while striking out 10.

Game three: JPII 8, Priceville 6

With the season on the line, Priceville jumped out to a 1-0 lead when Walker drove home Chaney with a groundout.

JPII battled back with four runs in the second and then added three in the third to make the score 7-1. The Falcons scored three runs that were aided by three Priceville errors.

The Bulldogs battled back in the bottom of the third by scoring three runs to cut the lead to 7-4. First, Parker scored on a JPII error to make it 7-2, and then Chaney scored on a wild pitch to make it 7-3. Garrison then singled to left and brought home courtesy runner Hanks.

JPII added an insurance run in the top of the fifth to take an 8-4 lead.

Priceville faced the daunting task of coming back from a four-run deficit in the bottom of the seventh. They cut the lead to 8-6 with runs by Deacon Hall and Robert Munive, but that would be as close as they could get as their season ended.

Kerby and Burney each had two hits to lead Priceville. Burney also had an RBI.

Prickett took the loss after allowing four runs on three hits in two innings. Colman Gann allowed three runs on four hits in a third of an inning. Tyde Borden pitched 4.2 innings of relief, allowing one run on three hits.

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