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Hartselle Enquirer

Tigers punch ticket to third round of 6A state playoffs

The Hartselle Tigers punched their ticket to the AHSAA 6A playoffs third round with a hard-fought 2-1 series win on the road at Pell City. The Tigers won game one 14-4 but fell 3-1 in game two, forcing a winner-take-all game three. Hartselle defeated the Panthers 12-2 to clinch the series.

“I am super proud of our kids,” coach Jake Miles said. “We say that every week, but they continue to amaze me with how they compete for each other every at-bat, pitch, and game. We battled some adversity in this series and found a way to rise above it, which is always good to see.”

The Tigers had several players step up in the series, allowing them a chance no matter the circumstances.

“I thought all of our pitchers battled and gave us a chance to win,” Miles said. “I can’t say enough for what Jace Meadows, Nick Chumley, and Landon Blackwood gave us in their starts. They all work ahead, make the defense play behind them, and always make competitive pitches. I am so proud of them, as well as Carson Wilson and Andrew Coleman, who usually have to come in during the difficult times in an inning, and they both just take the ball and battle like they have all year long.”

The offense showed up in games one and three but was held in check in game two, the Tigers’ only loss.

Offensively, in game one, we had some big at-bats. “Cade Miles’ homer got us going, and then we had several big hits with runners in scoring position by Cam Palahach and Jo Williamson,” Miles said. “In game two, their pitcher did a nice job of working ahead, but we had some competitive at-bats, and there was not much to show for it. The bats again came alive in game three as Cam had some big hits, as did Peyton Steele and Jo. I felt like we battled better than in game two and forced them into some walks, which helped us create scoring opportunities.”

Game 1: Hartselle 14, Pell City 4
Hartselle scored eight runs in the third and four more in the fourth to pull away for a 14-4 victory over Pell City. Cade Miles finished 3-for-5 with a home run, a double, six RBIs, and two runs scored. Andrew Coleman had three hits with two RBIs, while Cam Palahach and Jo Williamson each added two hits. Palahach also had two RBIs. Jace Meadows picked up the win after going 6.1 innings of work, allowing four runs on six hits while striking out six.

Game 2: Pell City 3, Hartselle 1
The Tigers were held to just two hits in their game two loss to the Panthers. Pell City pitcher Braylon Smith outdueled Nic Chumley to keep the Panthers alive. He struck out 13 Hartselle batters in seven innings of work. Chumley allowed three runs on seven hits in taking the loss. Brody Leathers and Coleman each had a hit, with Leathers scoring the Tigers’ only run on a Williamson RBI.

Game 3: Hartselle 12, Pell City 2
Hartselle jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third inning but saw the lead evaporate when Pell City plated two in the bottom of the fourth. The Tigers then had their second eight-run inning of the series, pulling away in the fifth for a 10-2 lead. They added two more in the sixth to close out the 12-2 win over the Panthers.

Palahach had two hits and was one of four Hartselle batters with two RBIs. Asher Doepel, Williamson and Steele also had two RBIs. Doepel, Williamson and Lawson Williams each scored two runs.

Landon Blackwood earned the win after working 3.2 innings, allowing two runs on four hits while striking out five. Coleman and Carson Wilson each worked an inning of relief in the Tigers’ win.

Up Next
Top-ranked Hartselle (28-8) will host the Athens Golden Eagles in a three-game series starting Thursday at 5:00 pm with games one and two. Game three, if needed, will take place Friday afternoon. The two teams played earlier this season with the Tigers winning 3-2.

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