Trinity falls in Game One of Class 3A State Championship
JACKSONVILLE – Piedmont High School used its speed to squeak out a 4-2 win over Trinity Presbyterian in Game 1 of the AHSAA Class 3A State Baseball Championship Series Monday night before a packed crowd at Rudy Abbott Field at Jim Case Stadium.
The game opened the 2022 state championships, which are being held at Jacksonville State University and Oxford’s Choccolocco Park this week. The 3A series plays game 2, at 10 a.m., at JSU Tuesday with game 3 to follow if needed. The Class 4A series gets underway at Oxford with defending state champion Mobile Christian (31-4) taking on Etowah (28-12) at 7 p.m. The AHSAA State Softball Championships also get underway Tuesday morning at Choccolocco Park.
Piedmont (37-5), coached by Matt Deerman, struck first with four runs in the bottom of the second inning in the strangest of ways. Junior right fielder Max Hanson, batting with two outs and the bases loaded, drove in two runs with an infield hit. His hard grounder between third and second was fielded by Trinity third baseman Brady Rascoll, who tried to gun down Hanson at first.
The hustling runner beat the throw and the Bulldogs runner Sloan Smith racing to third from second based never slowed down – heading home all the way. He slid in safely just ahead of the throw to give Piedmont a 2-0 lead.
The Bulldogs picked up the final two runs in the inning when Piedmont pitcher Jack Hayes hit a high fly to right field. Both baserunners started running with the contact and both scored with the Wildcats’ right fielder dropped the ball for a fielding error.
Trinity (31-7), coached by Jarrod Cook, scored it two runs in the top of the fourth on a two-out single to center field by senior Christopher Bryan to plate courtesy runner Webber McClinton. Two hits later, Bryan scored on Jordan Jenkins’ line-drive single up the middle to cut Piedmont’s lead to 4-2.
Winning pitcher Jack Hayes battled on the mound for the Bulldogs scattering nine hits and striking out four to get the complete-game win. Trinity’s Ben Easterling (9-2) also pitched a complete game allowing only four hits and striking our six.
Hanson’s single and two RBIs was the key hit for Piedmont. Byrd Simmons and Easterling each had two hits for Trinity.