By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent
The top-ranked Hokes Bluff Eagles advanced to the second round two of
the AHSAA Class 4A state baseball playoffs with a two-game sweep of
visiting Priceville on Friday (Apr. 21).
The Eagles (21-12) will travel to Etowah County neighbor Sardis for a
best-of-three series this Friday (Apr. 28).
Against Priceville, Hokes Bluff opened with a 6-3 victory. Dylan
Teague pitched six strong innings to record the win. The Eagles jumped
to a 1-0 first inning lead and never looked back. Carson Eubanks led
off the bottom of the first with a walk and advanced to second on a
wild pitch. He later scored on a fielding error.
The Bulldogs scored runs in the second and third innings, and the
hosts appeared to be in a pitcher’s duel with the score tied 2-2 after
But Hokes Bluff exploded for three runs on five hits in the bottom of
the fourth to take a 5-2 lead. Singles by Eubanks, Teague, Jace
Stewart, Wyatt Watson and a towering double by Weston Ball gave the
Eagles the lead for good.
Priceville added a run in the top of the fifth on a single by Trey
Jones and a double from Rhett Lemay. Hokes Bluff scored the game’s
final run in the bottom of the fifth.
“We did not play well in the first three innings,” Hokes Bluff coach
Mike Robertson said. “We made too many mistakes early but eventually
settled down. We got a good pitching performance from Dylan Teague
that gave us a lift.
Teague gave up five hits while striking out five with only two walks.
Houston Edwards led the Eagles at the plate, going 2-for-2.
In game two, Hokes Bluff Eagles exploded for 14 runs off 13 hits to
dispose of Priceville, 14-2.
Watson went 3-for-3 at the plate, including a grand slam home run.
As the visiting team in the nightcap, the Eagles wasted little time in
taking control. Hokes Bluff connected for six hits and plated four
runs in the top of the first inningto jump to a 4-0 lead.
The roof fell in on Priceville in the top of the second.
With the bases loaded, Wyatt Watson belted a massive home run to right
center to break the game open at 8-0.
Hokes Bluff added three more runs in the third, and Fisher Simmons’
homer in the fourth gave the Eagles a 12-0 lead. Priceville scored
runs in the fourth and fifth innings but the Eagles closed out the
game with two runs in the fifth for the 12-run win and the series
Jace Stewart pitched five strong innings to record the games two win
He gave up two runs on four hits while striking out four and walked
“We did what we had to do in the second game,” Robertson said. “I’m
proud of our pitching.”