Mars Hill Bible came out swinging in game two of the AHSAA 2019 Class 1A State Baseball Championship Series Tuesday at Riverwalk Stadium to down Brantley 13-2 to sweep the state title.
The Panthers scored four runs in the top of the first inning on three hits and six in the top of the fourth on six hits to coast to the Panthers’ fifth state baseball championship overall and their first since winning the 2A title in 2012.
Coach Jay Mitchell’s team also gave Mars Hill a sweep of the baseball and football titles. The Panthers rolled to the Class 1A state football championship last December.
The Panthers totaled 14 hits in the Tuesday’s game with Class 1A state finals MVP Brooks Thompson, a senior first baseman who came into the finals hitting .370 on the year, was 2-for-3 Tuesday, scored twice and finished the two-game series 4-for-6 with two RBIs.
Sam Ragan got the bats going in the first inning with a lead-off double off starting pitcher Jake Kilcrease. He scored on a single by Colt Huntley and Kyler Murks completed the rally with a two-run single. Murks finished 2-for-2 with three RBIs.
Brantley got two runs back in the bottom of the first inning off Mars Hill starter Colt Smith. The Bulldogs’ lead-off hitter Jake Kilcrease singled to open the bottom of the inning, and Parker Odom tripled to right four batters later to drive in two runs.
Walker White came in to pitch in the second inning for Mars Hill and went 3 and 2/3 innings allowing just one hit and two batters to reach first in a masterful relief appearance to get the win. Will Potts came in to get the last out in the bottom of the fifth inning for the Panthers.
Ragan singled to start the six-run rally for Mars Hill in the top of the fourth. Smith and Peyton Higgins had RBI singles and Josh Bowerman had the big hit driving in two runs with a triple.
Six of Mars Hill Bible’s starters collected two hits or more with Bowerman and Murks finishing with two hits and three RBIs each. Higgins had three hits and two RBIs, and Huntley had two hits and two RBIs.
Dunn had two of Brantley’s four hits. Coach Andrew Brook’s Bulldogs were led by Dunn’s two hits. The Bulldogs won the 1A state baseball title in 2009 and followed the next fall by capturing the Class 1A state football crown.