The Appling County Pirate baseball team hosted the first round of state playoffs on Friday, May 2 against the Dodge County Indians. Connor Simmons started the game pitching for the Pirates and shut the Indian offense down for five complete innings.
Simmons struck out seven batters and allowed only three hits. Stacy Davis entered the game in relief of Simmons in the sixth inning and finished out the game for the Pirates. Davis allowed no hits, walked one batter, and recorded the last six outs of the game. The dominant pitching from Simmons and Davis was answered with a great offensive effort from Appling County. The Pirates scored eight runs, seven of which came in the second inning. A seven run second inning gave the Pirates momentum that carried the team to a victory. Tyler Sapp (1-4, 2B), Cody Thomas (2-3, 1B, 3B, RBI), Griffith Faircloth (1-3, 1B), Mason Parker (1-4, 1B), Gage Patton (1-4, 2B, 2 RBI), and Triston Carter (1-3, 2B, RBI) contributed the seven hits in the first game.
The Pirates were guests in game two of the series, and Mason Parker started the game pitching. Mason threw the entire game and allowed four runs, three of which were earned, walked four batters, and struck out eight. Mason threw well, but the Pirate offense struggled to string hits together against the lefthander that Dodge County pitched. The Pirates matched the Indians with six hits apiece, but a couple timely hits for the Indians put them ahead 4-3 at the end of the game. Tyler Sapp (2-4, 1B), Jake Britt (1-2, 1B), Mason Parker (1-4, 1B), Gage Patton (1-3, 1B), and Connor Simmons (1-4, 1B) contributed the six hits in the second game.
Game three was decided at the Pirate’s field the following day, Saturday, May 3, at 2:00 p.m. Losing the coin toss, Appling County assumed the position of away team. Stacy Davis started the pressure-packed game three for the Pirates. Davis kept his cool even after throwing two innings the day before in game one. Davis pitched five and two thirds innings, allowing three hits, two walks, and two runs. In addition, Davis struck out ten batters on the day! Connor Simmons pitched the final inning and a third, allowing two hits and no runs, and recorded the save. Appling County’s offense squeaked by with three runs on five hits. Gage Patton had the only run batted in on the day with a single to right field driving in Connor Simmons from third. Jake Britt scored the other two runs by displaying some intense hustle around the base path. Britt advanced from first to third base on an errant pick off throw to first base. This put him into position to score on a pass ball a few pitches later. Tyler Sapp (1-4, 1B), Casey Griffin (2-3, 1B), and Connor Simmons (1-4, 1B) knocked the other three Pirate hits for the day. The Pirate pitching held up their end of the deal as the game ended on a 4-6-3 double play turned by middle infielders Jake Britt and Gage Patton with a final score of 3-2.
The Pirates took the series 2-1 and will now advance to the second round of state playoffs. Appling County will travel to Callaway High School on Wednesday, May 7. Good luck Pirates!