Courtesy of Cherokee County Herald
Coosa Christian defeated No. 10 Cedar Bluff, 5-3, in Class 1A Area 13 action on Tuesday at CBHS.
Another win on Thursday in Gadsden will secure the area championship for the Class 1A No. 3 Conquerors (18-1, 7-0). The No. 10 Tigers (11-12, 4-1) must win game two of the series to force a decisive third game.
Caleb’s Garrett’s bases-loaded RBI single in the top of the seventh held up as the winning hit for the Class 1A No. 3 Conquerors (18-1, 7-0).
“We knew they were going to throw their best [pitcher], and we threw our best, and we were able to come out on top,” said Coosa Christian head coach Joey Millican. “This is baseball right here. It’s great to be able to get game one. I’m proud and thankful. Now we go back to our place and see if we can’t get another win.”
The Tigers took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Jace Mills led off the top of the seventh with a single to leftfield. Wesley Grizzard then beat out an infield single, giving the Conquerors runners at first and second with no outs.
John Ashley followed with a bunt single to load the bases, bringing Garrett to the plate. Garrett sent a line shot to center, which got through all the way to the outfield wall to clear the bases.
“Garrett come up big for us,” said Millican. “He did what he’s supposed to do, and he’s done it all year. That’s what we try to teach here. When we get in position to do something, we execute.”
Conqueror starter Jackson Justus retired the side in order in the bottom of the seventh to earn the win. Justus allowed five hits with three walks and nine strikeouts.
“To come up big and throw the baseball like he did today and never get down was awesome,” said Millican. “He’s already thrown two no-hitters in area play this year. If he’s not all-area, I don’t know who is.”
Garrett, Justus and Dawson Ashley each had two hits, while Mills, Grizzard, Alex Holman, Caden Davidson and Ashton Commons all had one.
“We knew there would be some adversity in the game,” said Millican. “[Cedar Bluff] is such a good team and has such a great program. We knew that some point in the game that we might be down. If we were, we had to keep our heads up, stay focused and take the momentum back. We were able to do that.”