Piedmont Academy Baseball competed at the GISA Middle School State Invitational on Saturday, April 22nd. The team made it past the loser’s bracket with key pitching and hitting situations to play six games, reaching the championships to come in 2nd place.
It was a rough start with most of the players coming back from Washington DC on Friday night and heading to Dublin to play ball on Saturday morning. They dragged in their first game against St. Luke from Columbus, and lost to them 10-0.
Once they entered the losers bracket, they gave a fight. The 8th graders took charge and lead the team all the way to the championship. In their second game, they played very well against Citizens Christian Academy, beating them 15-3. Ryan Holder threw an awesome game and Mark Hicks closed. From there, they really didn’t slow down for the rest of the day. They had a combined ten hits for the second game and Cameron Mobley had three of those.
Game 3 was against Thomas Jefferson Academy, with Piedmont Academy outscoring them 9-2. This game was dominated by the 8th grade pitcher, Cameron Mobley. He recorded six strikeouts in three innings. Mark Hicks came in once again. Although he gave up two runs, Mark could be counted on to finish the job. He did a great job all three games that he entered as pitcher.
The offense in game 3 was led by Drake Coody who was 3-3, Tanner Locklear and Hunter Robinson who were both 2-3, and Brody Anderson who walked all three of his at bats.
Game 4 was against Brentwood. Piedmont Academy had played them earlier in the year and played them very close. On Saturday, however, Piedmont beat them 5-1. Cameron Mobley pitched this game and recorded another five strikeouts in four innings. He pitched his best games of the year during the tournament.
Ryan Holder came in to start the 5th inning and struck out two hitters to end the game. Their offense for game 4 was led by Drake Coody with two singles and reached on an error, Brody Anderson with two singles, Tanner Locklear with a single, triple and reach on an error, and Hunter Robinson with two singles.
Game 5 was back up against St. Luke. They were undefeated and seemed to be tough. Piedmont Academy, however, had the momentum with three games won in a row. Piedmont Academy came out as the visitor and scored a quick run in the first. Drake Coody started on the mound and pitched a good ball game. He allowed one run in three innings and recorded two strikeouts. David Bishop came in to finish the game and gave up two runs.
The final score was 6-3 Piedmont. Everyone played another great game. Their offense was led by Hunter Robinson with 3 singles, Tanner Locklear with 2 doubles, as well as Harrison Dowdy, Ryan Holder, and Brody Anderson who all had a single.
Game 6 was against St. Luke again. By this time it is 10:30pm and everyone was tired. Both teams seemed to be out of gas. Piedmont won the toss and chose for be the home team. Drake Coody went back out to start the game and they figured him out. St. Luke hit the ball all over the park and scored ten runs in the first inning. David Bishop pitched the 2nd and Tanner Locklear pitched the 3rd and 4th innings. Piedmont struggled at the plate and had two hits, one from Cameron Mobley and the other from Ryan Holder. Piedmont lost the game 17-1 and really seemed to run out of gas after playing all day long with only a two hour break.
Throughout the day, Piedmont came through in key hitting situations. Tanner Locklear always seemed to be at the plate in those bases loaded situations and always came through with an outstanding hit. He was their leading hitter all day, other teams just couldn’t handle his bat and speed combination.
Their defense played pretty solid all day. They made the routine plays and kept the other teams from scoring off of their mistakes. Even with a total of five errors in six games, Piedmont really stepped up and played baseball until the very end of the night. Their pitching had its’ bright spots on the day but the other team was just putting good swings on the ball.
According to Cameron Vaughn, their Head Middle School Baseball Coach, “I am very proud of this teams’ fight and determination throughout the day, as well as this season. For us to go down to the first ever GISA middle school state tournament and place 2nd, I thought we did an outstanding job. We had to fight our way through the loser’s bracket to make it back to the championship, but the boys never lost hope and loved every minute of the day. I want to thank the 8th grade boys, Cameron Mobley, Drake Coody, and Tanner Locklear for their leadership on the field throughout the year. They didn’t just talk the talk, they put forth the effort and it really showed on Saturday. Proud of this team and I hope for great things from them for a while.”
Cameron Vaughn coached the team with Assistant Rick Ringer.