Patriots ready for state semifinals

Jones’ offense posted big numbers in sweeping Huntsville to advance to the Class 7A state semifinals.
The Patriots (36-12) won Game 1 of its doubleheader 15-7 and closed the series by beating the Panthers and Mississippi State bound pitcher Christian MacLeod 11-3.

John Michael Riley was the hitting star of the first game. His three hits included a grand slam and a double. He drove in five runs, scored twice, drew a walk and stole two bases.

Other standouts were winning pitcher Caden Rose, Cam Hill and Slate Alford. Rose had two hits with a double, a walk, three RBIs, two runs scored and two steals. Hill also had a pair of hits with a walk, three RBIs and two stolen bases. Alford contributed two hits, two walks, an RBI and three runs scored.

Bob Jones scored five runs in the top of the first inning and never trailed.

“We had a really good day offensively,” Bob Jones coach Jared Smith said. “We ended up hitting five home runs (in the doubleheader). We’ve hit a lot of home runs this year so it’s kind of our game.”
Game 2 remained closely contested until Bob Jones erupted for seven runs in the bottom of the sixth inning off MacLeod to pad its lead.

The Patriots struck out 12 times against the heralded pitcher but tagged him for 11 runs off nine hits, three of them home runs, and drew five walks.

Dylan Ray had a 2-run double and capped his day at the plate with a grand slam in the sixth inning. Mitchell Daly added a home run, a double, two walks, three RBIs and three runs scored. Alford had a solo homer and Rose totaled two hits, a walk, an RBI, three runs scored and a stolen base. Riley chipped in with two hits, a run scored and three steals. Austin East was the winning pitcher.

In addition to the Patriots’ offensive performance, Smith also praised them for their defense.

“Our offense gets a lot of credit but defensivelywe made only one error on Friday against Huntsville,” Smith said.

Hewitt-Trussville will visit Bob Jones on Friday for two games starting at 5 p.m. A third game would be played Saturday at 1 p.m. if needed.

The teams opened the regular season against each other in February with the Huskies sweeping a doubleheader.

“They’re a solid team and they’re really well coached,” Smith said. “You really have to play your A game because you know they will.”