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Heartbreaking finish: Hartselle comes up a run short in state baseball finals

By Caleb Suggs

For the Enquirer

JACKSONVILLE — Hartselle needed to win two games Friday to win a state baseball championship and the Tigers nearly pulled it off. 

Hartselle defeated Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 10-3 in game two, but came up just short in game three, losing the championship game 7-6. 

“I don’t have enough good things to say about this team,” Hartselle coach Jake Miles said. “We wanted the blue map (championship trophy), but the color of the trophy doesn’t change how proud I am of this team. These 10 seniors played in three state finals in four years and it’s been a lot of fun watching them do the things they’ve done.” 

In game three, Hartselle led 3-1, but fell behind 6-3 in the fifth inning thanks to a grand slam. 

The Tigers rebounded, though, tying the game 6-6 in the sixth inning. 

“When they hit that I just looked at our second baseman and said ‘We’re fine,” Hartselle senior first baseman Lawson Williams said. “I had all the confidence in the world that we were going to come back.” 

Hartselle’s comeback fell short, however, as Hillcrest scored the go-ahead run in the seventh inning on a sacrifice fly. 

“We had to keep the dugout up and we found a way to get back in the game,” senior shortstop Cade Miles said. “We were going to keep coming after them and in the end things just didn’t go our way. Hats off to them.” 

Cam Palahach led the team with two hits and two RBis, while Witt Crisler had two hits. Brody Leathers finished with a hit and two RBis. 

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