Gators season over at 32-12
By Ronald Frazier
For a short while things were looking good for Glenwood when Bryce Valero slammed a two-run home run in the top of the seventh in the third game of the three-game series to take a 4-3 lead.
Only three outs away for a Glenwood victory, the home-standing Knights of Tuscaloosa Academy got a bases loaded single by Jacob Sanders with two outs to send Tuscaloosa to the semifinals of the state class AAA baseball championships. The Knights won that rubber match, 5-4.
“It was a heck of a series,” said Glenwood coach Tim Fanning after the loss. His Gators finished the season at 32-12 on the year.
Losing pitcher was reliever Jake Melton. He captured his fourth save earlier in the series in the first game to preserve the Gators 4-3 victory over Tuscaloosa. But it was not to be in the Saturday finale. For the Gators other hitting stars, Bryce Newman had two hits in two trips and Trevor Crisco was one for four and had the Gators other two RBI. Glenwood got the series started off on the right foot as they took that first game 4-3. The series, which was to start on April 25 was delayed one day due to heavy rains.
Glenwood’s No. 1 pitcher Luke Davis was the winner and Melton came in to save the victory on April 26. Valero had a home run in that win also; a three-run shot that gave the Gators the initial lead. Kody Bence had the other RBI and leadoff Wes Johnson was two for three with a double and two runs. The second game was one the Gators would soon like to forget. The Knights run-ruled the Gators 13-0 and Trevor Horne, the sophomore who pitched so well against Northside Methodist in the previous series was tagged with the loss.
Valero was one for one to have a perfect three for three for the first two games while freshman Landon Russell also had a double in two trips. That set the state for the Saturday showdown game and the final seventh inning that sent the Gators home for 2019. Prior to the series, Glenwood played a regular contest with Lakeside on April 22 and won in eight innings in a 10-7 slugfest. Valero had a three-run home run and was also the winning pitcher with a scoreless eighth inning in relief.
Against Lakeside, Newman also had a good day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with an RBI, and Horne was a perfect 2-for-2 and had two RBI in the victory.
So for the week, Valero had a great plate performance with three home runs and going four for seven in the series against Tuscaloosa with two of those home runs.