Trinity wins Game Three vs Piedmont to capture State Title
JACKSONVILLE – Trinity Presbyterian High School senior Coleman Stanley tossed a 3-hitter, walked none and struck out five to lead the Wildcats to a 3-1 victory over Piedmont in the third and deciding game of the AHSAA Class 3A State Baseball Championship Series Tuesday morning at Rudy Abbott Field – Jim Case Stadium.
Trinity (33-7) lost the first game of the series 4-2 on Monday, then clawed back to even the series at 1-1 with a 6-5 win in game. In game three, Coach Jarrod Cook put the ball in Stanley’s hands and he delivered – needing to throw only 73 pitches in the seven-inning performance.
Trinity picked up a run in the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. In the top of the third inning, Mac McClinton stroked a single, and pitcher, Grayson Ashe bounced a ground-rule double over the right-field fence. Ben Easterling then drove a sacrifice fly to center field and McClinton scored to make it 2-0.
Piedmont (37-7), trailing 2-0, finally got its first big break in the bottom of the fifth inning when Austin Estes slapped a long fly to center field that lost in the bright sunlight and large contingent of white shirts in the stands. By the time the ball was recovered, he was standing on third base with a triple. Max Hanson picked the RBI with a ground out to second base that allowed Estes to score to cut the lead to 2-1.
The Wildcats carved out an much-needed insurance run in the top of the sixth. The Bulldogs brought in Cassius Thompson-Fairs to the mound in relief. He walked eighth batter Jordan Jenkins and Webber McClinton followed with a pinch-hit single. Mac McClinton then reached safely on a fielder’s choice when second baseman McClane Mohon made a spectacular stop of his ball hit back up the middle. Webber McClinton was called safe as Mohon dove for the bag and Jenkins scored from third.
Trinity managed just five hits off Bulldogs pitchers Estes and Fair. Catcher Grayson Ashe had a double, Simmons Byrd, Mac McClinton, Webber McClinton and Brady Rascoll each had one hit.
Coach Matt Deerman’s Bulldogs collected three hits – Estes’ triple and singles by Jack Hayes and Sloan Smith.
The state was the seventh Trinity’s history. The Montgomery school won state titles in 1985, 1996, 2000, 2012, 2013 and 2014. Cook served as an assistant for 12 years before ascending to the head coach position when Hall of Fame Coach Ken Whittle retired after last year.
The AHSAA State Baseball Championships continue Wednesday at JSU with the second and third game, if needed, in the Class 4A state series between Etowah and defending state champion Mobile Christian. At Choccolocco Park Wednesday, the Class 2A series between G.W. Long (32-8) and Decatur Heritage (30-9) will play game 1 at 4 p.m. The Class 5A championship series featuring Holtville (34-5) and defending state champion Russellville (33-12) will play game 1 at 7 p.m.