Story by Griffin Pritchard | Publisher
Photos by Brian Tannehill | Director of Photography
CENTRAL ALABAMA SCOREBOARD OFFICE – There’s no way to write this without first addressing the elephant on the diamond. Edgewood Academy, from 2010 to 2016, dominated Class A and AA baseball winning multiple state championships under guidance of Bobby Carr. On Tuesday, the Wildcats return to Paterson Field looking to win their first championship with Justin Jones at the helm.
“I know they are loaded with seniors, said Carr. “But those kids were coming into seventh grade when I left and, I get it, this is their last opportunity to win a championship. Justin (Jones) does a great job and has done a great job.”
Now that the past is past, let’s focus on the present and the fact that one team is going to leave Paterson Field with a Gold Glove and memories that will last for years to come.
“The boys have put in a lot of hard work over the last year to get to this point,” said Jones. “We have been through the lows and the highs of a long season and I think we are ready for the game now.”
Their opponent, though, is scrappy and hungry looking for their first state championship in baseball since 2008 led by the fella that built Edgewood into a baseball power.
Carr: “I’ve never had as much joy coaching baseball as I’ve had this year. We don’t have one player that’s a returning starter. We had to replace nine starters and we are going into the game with one senior – Will Traywick – and he transferred in from Prattville.”
The road to the championship game wasn’t easy for either team. Edgewood had to win three against Escambia and then three against Lowndes. However, it doesn’t belay the fact that either team can win two on Tuesday and calling it a day.
Jones: “Just like I told the guys before Game 3 at Lowndes, this is the same game you’ve been playing since T-Ball. Relax and have fun. No one has pressure on them for anything. Just lace them up and play hard.”
Playing hard is the only way the Generals over at Autuaga know how to approach a game.
Carr: “Baseball is a game about momentum; it’s about getting hot at the right time and our kids are playing really good right now. Our kids think they could beat the New York Yankees if we lined up against them.”
Edgewood brings a boatload of seniors to the championship game and will be led by Alex Johnson and Mitchell Boyd.
But there’s also a youth movement to take into account: Tyler Bullard (catcher) Drew Allison (2-for-3 from the DH spot against Lowndes) and Jack Balda who has become a solid arm out of the pen.
The Generals will look to Lake Barber, Traywick and Josh Palmer and then Noah Ray on the bump.
Carr: “When you get a bunch of kids playing the game, nobody cares who gets the credit. Nobody gripes and moans about playing time or where they are in the lineup. We’ve got a bunch of young kids who are all pulling from the same end of the rope. A lot of companies and organizations could learn from what these kids are doing.”
The AISA Class AA Championship game is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. and will be a doubleheader. However, with the threat of weather that schedule could be altered or moved to later on in the wee
Story by Griffin Pritchard | PublisherPhotos By Brian Tannehill | Director of Photography CENTRAL...