CLASS 1A CHAMPIONSHIPS
Game 2: Brantley 9, Athens Bible (8 innings)
Jared Wiley got just one at bat Wednesday afternoon in the Class 1A state baseball finals here at Riverwalk Stadium. The designated hitter had been hitting for Wiley, Brantley’s third baseman, but coach Ashley Kilcrease put the bat in his hands when it counted most.
Wiley, batting in the bottom of the eighth inning with the score tied at 8-8, drilled a single up the middle off Athens Bible reliever Jordan Pugh to drive in Chase Hall for the winning run as the Bulldogs captured the Class 1A state championship.
Brantley (26-10) won the series over defending champion Athens Bible in two straight games, but both were nail biters all the way. The Trojans (28-8) jumped on Bulldogs starter Stephen Walker in the first inning for three runs. Walker (8-3) got stronger as the game moved along, however, and eventually persevered to the end – going all eight innings, allowing 11 hits and striking out two.
Brantley tied the game in the bottom of the inning and then posted four runs in the fifth for a 7-3 lead. The Trojans battled back with four runs of their own in the top of the sixth and took the lead in the eighth on Brett Westbrook’s RBI double to the left-field fence.
That set up Wiley’s game-winning hit in the bottom of the inning.
Brantley catcher Chris Walker went 3-for-3 with two RBIs. Series MVP Adam Hill, who pitched the game one 3-1 win, had two hits and an RBI, pitcher Stephen Walker and Jared Hall each added two hits and an RBI. Jared Hall’s sharp single to right tied the game in the bottom of the eighth for the Bulldogs, who pounded out 12 hits.
Connor Brown and Westbrook each had two hits and two RBIs for the Trojans. Tyler Sherrod also had two hits.
Jesse Gibson started and went 4 1/3 innings. Pugh pitched the final 2 1/3 innings to get the loss.