Saints hold on to win second state title in 14 years

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 14, 2005

Patrician Academy rolled into the city of Selma with one goal, pulling away with a state championship.

On Saturday afternoon, they did just that, defeating Clarke Prep 6-5 in the Class AA finals of the AISA State baseball tournament.

Patrician’s big, blue bus traveled back to Butler with the State Championship on board.

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Their championship run wasn’t an easy one though.

They opened the tournament with a match-up against Escambia and then

sent Tuscaloosa Academy to the consolation final on Friday afternoon.

Clarke Prep had advanced to the final after losing their first game to Tuscaloosa Academy and then hung on to score

narrow wins over Escambia Academy at Meadowview Christian’s field and then Tuscaloosa Academy back at Bloch Park on Saturday.

But, according to their coach, by the time they reached the finals, their pitching had begun to be an issue.

Their efforts showed through in the first inning by putting runners on base.

The Patrician Saints, however put the game out of reach in the bottom half of the second inning with a six-run flurry.

Lance Gibson and Beau Meeks were scored by Brent Bonner on a single to the gap, giving the Saints a 2-0 lead.

The Saints continued the offensive explosion with Travis Abate, Barry Meeks and Tyler Davis scoring en route to a 6-0 lead.

Clarke was finally able to put runs on the board in the third inning.

Reid Smith reach and then was followed by Brendan Becton.

They crossed the plate on consecutive at bats from Jo Powell and Grey Davis, pushing the Gators on top 6-2.

They weren’t done there.

The Gators tacked on another pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth to cut the Saint’s lead in half, 6-4.

In the seventh inning, Bonner was scored by Gibson to bring the deficit to a lone run, 6-5. Gibson, however, was left stranded on base to end the game.

This victory gives the Patrician Saints their first state championship in 15 years.

They last won the trophy in 1990.

For the Gators, this was their first trip to the State Championship game despite being one of the mainstays in the Final Four tournament. Mason said that most of their outings have been two and done.