Tigers win area, will host first-round
By Michael Butler
If you like drama, this weekend's matchup between Tallassee and Holtville on the baseball diamond did not disappoint. The Tigers took two-of-three to win the series and claim the area championship, but it wasn't easy.
Holtville and Tallassee entered the weekend with identical 3-1 records atop the Class 4A/Area 5 standings. Tallassee pitched its ace Dee Williams on Friday at Holtville, who has been unhittable this season with a 0.48 ERA, but Holtville dealt the senior a 3-1 setback. Williams (5-2) gave up one earned run, allowing four hits and striking out six Bulldogs. Jake Burton went 2-for-3 at the plate.
The series returned to Tallassee on Saturday with a must-win for THS. A loss would have put the Tigers behind Dadeville in the loss column and out of the playoffs altogether. A sweep in Saturday's doubleheader would clinch the area championship.
And sweep is what the Tigers did.
After falling behind 1-0 in game one of the twin bill, the Tigers rallied back for a 10-5 victory. Will Peters (4-4) picked up the win with four complete innings of work and three strikeouts. Casey Baynes got the save in relief.
Peters, and Baynes were 2-for-3 in the hitting department. Baynes had a homer and a triple. Burton was 3-for-4. Caleb Stewart went 2-for-3 with his first homerun of the season.
In the rubber match on Saturday afternoon, Tallassee made quick work of the Bulldogs with a 13-3 clincher in five innings. Burton (4-2) went the distance for the win on the mound with four strikeouts. Blake Dean was 3-for-4. Kalvin Levett added a double with a 1-for-2 effort.
The Tigers (17-13), who cracked the ASWA Class 4A poll last week at No. 8, will host a first-round playoff series at Southside Filed. Escambia County, the Class 4A/Area 2 runners-up, will be the opponent on April 21.
Tallassee's next opponent will be Catholic on Tuesday, April 11 at 4:00 p.m. in Montgomery. The meeting will be a single game, a change from the originally scheduled doubleheader. On Wednesday, April 12, Tallassee will make up a rainout game at Class 2A No. 5 Reeltown at 5:00.