Hokes Bluff falls to Gordo in second round

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Photo: Hokes Bluff’s Anderson Morgan awaits a throw to second base to tag out a Gordo baserunner during the Eagles’ 10-3 loss in the second round of the Class 3A state baseball playoffs on April 21 at Hokes Bluff. (Photo by Alex Chaney)

By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor

Hokes Bluff’s 2023 season came to an end in the second round of the Class 3A state baseball playoffs with a 4-2 and 10-3 loss to Gordo on April 21 at Hokes Bluff.
The Eagles (19-18) hung with the Green Wave for most of Game 1. Eagle starter Colten Shields gave his team a chance through his six innings on the mound, scattering six hits and four walks while allowing one earned run. But three of Shields’ four runs were unearned, and the Eagles couldn’t make up the difference.
Shields kept Gordo off the scoreboard until the top of the fourth when the Green Wave put across a pair of runs.
Hokes Bluff drew within 2-1 in the next inning when Anderson Morgan’s base hit plated Bryce Whitaker, but the visitors soon regained their two-run lead via Caleb Jennings’ sacrifice fly.
The Eagles cut it to 3-2 on Bray Bearden’s RBI groundout in the bottom of the sixth before Jace Neel’s run-scoring single provided the Green Wave with insurance in the top of the seventh. Gordo starter Will Whitley shut the door in the bottom of the inning by retiring the side in order.
In a complete-game effort, Whitley allowed five hits and one walk while striking out two.
Hokes Bluff touched Game 2 Gordo starter Austin Baines for nine hits, but only two of those baserunners came around to score. In addition, the Eagles found themselves down 9-0 after three innings, thanks in large part to Landon Fikes’ three-run home run.
Hokes Bluff drew within seven runs when a base hit by Bearden plated both Glavine Lamberth and Brayson Hayes. Gordo tacked on another score in the fifth for an eight-run cushion.
Consecutive singles from Whitaker and Logan Weimann led to a run in the top of the seventh, but that was the extent of the Eagle rally.
In six innings, Baines allowed seven hits and one walk while striking out five.
For the series, Whitaker went 3-for-6 with two runs scored; Morgan had three hits and two RBI; Hayes had two hits and a run scored and Shields had two doubles and a run scored.

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