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Tigers move on to the quarters

By Michael Butler

Tallassee Tigers head baseball coach John Goodman said it. "A purple wave is headed to Mobile."

The Tigers will make their way down I-65 for the quarterfinal round of the Class 5A playoffs. Mobile Christian awaits.

Tallassee students will get a student-activity pass to miss classes with no penalty if they choose to attend. The "purple wave" showed up strong the last time the Tigers were this far into the post-season. The year was 2017. Tallassee lost to eventual champion UMS-Wright in three games.

The first game of the best-of-three series begins at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 1.

"We're playing on a very short week," said Goodman. "This is something we've done all year. I'm not so much worried about that. The trip down - not so much worried about that."

There is an artificial turf infield however, something the Tigers have not played on this season.

"Most of these kids play travel ball, so they've played on turf. That's not that big of a deal."

Getting to this point has been a big deal for Tallassee (19-9). A win would put them in the semifinals for the first time since Goodman's 2006 team reached that round.

On the flip side, Mobile Christian (20-10) has been on several runs in recent years. The program has won five state championships in three different classifications since 2015. Tallassee's last of its seven program championships came in 1998 under Goodman.

Bry Hathcock scores in Tallassee's opening win in the Gulf Shores series

The Leopards have won with relative ease in the first two rounds, sweeping Demopolis and Shelby County. Tallassee's two series went the distance.


Last weekend against Gulf Shores at Southside Field, the Tigers were down 4-0 going into the fourth inning. Things changed when Brue Milner came up to bat. The freshman hit a homerun to cut the Dolphins lead to 4-2. In the next inning, he hit a three-run blast to put Tallassee in front. The Tigers won 6-4.

Milner was nominated by SBLive for National High School Boys Athlete of the Week. He has hit seven homeruns this season with a team-leading 44 RBIs.

"Something had to happen for us to have a chance," Goodman said of Milner's work at the plate. "He gets the big hit to close it within two. That put a little fire back under them. He gets that other and everything erupted."

Walker Wells

Tallassee took the opening game of the series 5-1 behind strong pitching from Brady Mason, who went all seven innings. Gulf Shores won game two 8-2 setting up the Saturday afternoon decider in front of a raucous crowd.

"There were people everywhere," said Goodman. "The crowd just kept getting bigger and bigger. That brings back memories. The kids responded to it."

WTLS 1300 AM/Score 94.7 FM/Hit 106.9 FM will broadcast all action starting with the doubleheader on Wednesday with an airtime of 4. The "if game" is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Thursday.

*WTLS Interview with Coach Goodman

2024 Schedule/Results

Photos by Kyle Thornton