By Ronald Frazier
With three big wins, Glenwood faced AISA class AA defending champion Macon East for the Gators’ own Border Wars championship on March 10 and came through with a 6-4 victory.
“I can’t say enough about sophomore Jake Melton. He went six innings and gave us all he had and pitched a great game for us,” said Tim Fanning of his young hurler.
Going into the 7th and with two runners on, regular catcher Bryce Valero took the mound and struck out all three batters he faced to give the Gators the 6-4 victory.
“Bryce came in and did the job,” said Fanning of his junior catcher turned reliever.
With the victory, the Gators improved to 16-1 for the year while the Knights record is now 17-2.
“I expect them to be playing for the AA title for sure,” said Fanning.
Andrew Tillery led the Gators, who were outhit 6-4 as he had a homer and three RBI. It was Tillery’s second home run of the tournament as well.
To get to the championship, the Gators had to play two games on the 9th. The first was a no-hit victory by Tillery in a 3-1 win over Westfield. It was Tillery’s longest outing of the season.
“This was his first start that we wanted him to stretch out and he was lights out,” said Fanning.
The Hornets had only four base runners in the game on two errors and a hit batsman as Tillery struck out 11and walked one batter.
Westfield coach Robert Fitzpatrick was highly complementary of Tillery and the Gators.
‘This was only our third game of the year and this can only help us to face a quality pitcher today.
“I saw some good things from our team despite the fact he really overpowered our lineup,” said Fitzpatrick after the contest.
The Gators managed only six hits in the game but bunched two of those and two errors into two runs in the third and that was all Glenwood needed. They did score an insurance run in the 4th without the benefit of a hit.
Following the first game, the Gators pounced on Trinity Christian and took a 16-4 mercy rule game that went only four and a half innings. Tillery had a home run and four RBI while Nick Adams had a triple and three runs batted in. Luke Davis was the winning pitcher and gave up only one earned run.
Following Tillery’s masterful outing, the Gators run-ruled their second opponent, Heritage Christian also by a 16-4 score in a three-inning contest. Barton was the winning pitcher and gave up only two earned runs while Tillery had three RBI and a double and Adams, Liam Carbone and Trevor Crisco all had two runs batted in.
The Gators opened the week on the 6th with two road wins against Lee Scott for two key area wins and Slade James providing the hitting fireworks.
James hit a home run and pitched a complete game victory in a 4-2 win as he had six strikeouts. Glenwood scored all of their runs in the third after Lee Scott took a 2-0 lead in the second.
The Gators also won 6-2 as James homered for the second time and gave Nick Adams the pitching victory.
First baseman Jalen Williams also got into the act going three for four with two RBI and a double.
This week Glenwood will go on the road and will play Heard County on March 12, Springwood for two games on March 13 and play two games at Valdosta High against the Wildcats and Deerfield Windsor on Saturday.
Valdosta gave the Gators their only loss of the year so far, a 2-1 game.