By Cody Dowler/Fort Payne Times-Journal
Fyffe dropped the first game of the three-game series to Gaston before putting on a hitting clinic to win the next two games and advance to the semifinals of the Class 2A state baseball playoffs.
The Bulldogs took the opener by a score of 2-1 on Friday (May 6) before the host Red Devils evened the series with a 19-0 victory. Fyffe then ended Gaston’s season on Saturday with a 23-6 win.
The Red Devils host Mars Hill Bible School in a Class 2A state semifinals matchup on Friday (May 13).
The Bulldogs ended the season with a 17-12 record.
“[Fyffe] was really hitting the ball, and we really weren’t helping ourselves,” said Gaston head coach Jesse Pruitt.
Alexander Allen earned the victory in game 1, allowing four hits and two walks while striking out three in seven innings. He helped his cause by going 2-for-3 with a run scored. Also at the plate for the Bulldogs, Jesse Samples went 2-for-3, while Sawyer Bryson and J.D. Pope each had a hit.
“I though Alexander pitched a heck of a game,” said Pruitt. “He really kept them off-balance. He’s the type of kid that when you put him on the mound, he’s going to be in control of the game.”
Fyffe (19-10) came back with a vengeance in Game 2, however, hitting early and often.
Seth Benefield and senior Ethan Jones combined for eight hits, four RBIs and four runs scored. Jase Jones had a phenomenal game, as well. Jones finished with three hits, one of which was a home run, and eight RBIs.
ill Mashburn and Benefield combined to pitch five shutout innings.
“Gaston had a great pitcher in the first game who kept our hitters off balance,” said Fyffe head coach Brad Thomas. “We were able to rally in Game 2 though and take over from there.”
The game was called after the fifth inning as the Red Devils mercy-ruled the Bulldogs with a final score of 19-0. Bryson had Gaston’s lone hit.
“I got Allen Black out of there rather quickly because he couldn’t rally locate his pitches that well,” said Pruett. “I put in Sawyer in, and he threw it across the plate and he really wasn’t hitting his spots. They jumped up on us pretty good, so I wasn’t going to put another pitcher in at that point.”
Fyffe continued its hot hitting in the rubber match of the series on Saturday. Game 3 was also called after the fifth for mercy rule.
“We put four on [Fyffe] in the bottom of the first, but we just couldn’t throw it across the plate after that,” said Pruitt.
Bryson went 2-for-3 with an RBI, while Samples, Bryant Allen, Kevin Hollingsworth and Allen Black each had a hit and a run scored.
Pruitt was proud of how his team responded after the Bulldogs began the year at 2-7.
“We ran off about eight wins in a row after that and had a real strong finish to the regular season. We also have everyone coming back, so hopefully we can pick up where we left off.”
Publisher/Editor Chris McCarthy contributed to this article.