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Appling Pirates are the 2012 GHSA Class AA State Champions!!!!
The Appling County Pirates won game three of the State Championship Series on Thursday night to become state champions for the first time in school history.
The Pirates set the tone early scoring four runs in the bottom of the first inning. Byron Buxton led off the inning with a surprise bunt down the third base line. Will Lowman, pitcher for the Bears fielded the bunt and fired to first. There was noone there to receive the throw as it sailed into the right field corner. Buxton scampered all the way to third base on the errant throw.
Jeremy Ammons followed with a walk. Josh Barber lined a single to right field for a hit with Ammons in motion on the pitch. Buxton scored and Ammons reached third with noone out. Kyle Miller grounded into fielder's choice to plate Ammons. Gage Patton reached on an error. A balk moved the runners up ninety feet. Devin Causey delivered a single to center to score Miller and Patton.
The Bears scratched for a run in the top of the fourth. Byron Buxton allowed a single to Bear second baseman Cole Dowling to lead off the inning. Dowling would move to second on a passed ball. A throwing error allowed Dowling to score from second.
The Pirates answered the run and added another in the bottom of the fourth to take a 6-1 lead. Buxton led off with a walk. He stole second and moved to third on the wild throw to second. Ammons again walked. Buxton scored on a wild pitch and Ammons moved to second. Josh Barber laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Ammons to third. Kyle Miller lifted a fly ball deep enough to right field to score Ammons.
Buxton took a 6-1 lead to the mound in the top of the seventh inning. The Pirates needed only three outs to secure its first state championship. Buxton would struggle a little as the Bears mounted a strong comeback effort to cut the lead to 6-4. Buxton got the final out on his 18th strikeout of the night. After the last out was recorded the Pirates rushed the mound to celebrate with Buxton. A "dogpile" developed just in front of the mound full of players and coaches.
Congratulations to the all Pirate players and coaches for a job well done this year.
Coach Smith and his staff would like to thank all of the community for the continued support for this team this year. You definitely created a "home field advantage" for the kids.
Pirates and Bears Play Again...This Time for the Championship
The Appling County Pirates and the Pierce County Bears would face off for the third time this season on Saturday afternoon. In the previous meetings the teams played in front of large standing room only crowds that were there to cheer on their respective teams. This time it would be a little different. The two would square off in the GHSA class AA State Championship Series. This time the crowds would dwarf those from previous matchups. An estimated 3000 patrons paid to watch these two strong 2AA teams play. The Bears came into the series (29-7). Two of those losses came at the hands of the Pirates,8-4 and 7-6. The Pirates would enter the day's play at (33-2).
The teams would split the first two games on Saturday. The Bears got the best of the Pirates in game one 4-2. The Pirates rallied in the night cap to win 12-1 in five innings.
The coaches of both teams decided that game one was the game to win to get the momentum in the series. They both agreed to put their ace on the mound in this one, Byron Buxton for the Pirates and Will Lowman for the Bears.
The Bears got on the scoreboard first, scoring one run in the top of the third inning on a wild pitch. The Bears would add another run in the top of the fifth. The Bears led 2-0.
The Pirates managed to scratch for one run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Justin Javis led off the inning with a triple. Byron Buxton drove him home on a sacrifice fly.
The Bears stretched their lead to 4-1 in the top of the seventh when catcher Nate Gay hit a two run homerun. The Pirates managed to get one run back in the bottom half to make the score 4-2. The Bears got he final out in the seventh to get the win 4-2.
In game two the teams would battle agian toe-to-toe. Josh Deen would get the start for the Pirates. Both teams managed to get runners on base in the early going but failed to score. The Pirates left two runners stranded in the second. And the Bears left the bases loaded in the fourth.
The Pirate bats came alive in the top half of the fifth inning scoring twelve runs on nine hits.The scoring was aided by several walkes by the Bears pitching staff.
The inning started on a single to right field by junior catcher Guner Sellers. Two back-to-back bunts by Zack Smith and Javis resulted in two hits and would load the bases for Buxton. Buxton was hit by a pitch to drive home the courtesy runenr for the catcher, Dylan Hutchinson from third. Jeremy Ammons lined a single to center to score a run. Josh Barber followed with a line drive base hit to plate two more Pirate runners. Kyle Miller got in on the hit parade and delivered a drive to center field to score Ammons. Score was 5-0 Pirates, still no outs had been recorded.
After one out, Devin Causey bunted to move the two runners up ninety feet. The bunt would result in another hit as the Bear defense had trouble again defending the bunt. The bases would be loaded again.Three consecutive walks (Sellers,Smith,and Javis) plated three more Pirate run to stretch the lead to 8-0.
Buxton drove in two runs on a single. Josh Barber singled for the second time in the inning to plate Javis and Buxton. The Pirates went to the bottom of the fifth leading 12-0.
Josh Deen needed only three outs to seal the victory and to force a game three. Deen got the three outs, but the Bears scored one run in the process to make the final 12-1 Pirates in five innings.
Due to tropical storm Beryl, that delivered heavy rains over the last few days in Appling County, game three will be played Thursday May 31,2012 at 6pm.