“We beat ourselves,” Fayetteville head coach Morris Phillips said. “We came out and played decent for the most part. The first three innings were great then we start booting the ball. The first run was off an error. They had two earned runs the whole game. We have to do a better job of that.”
Fayetteville’s Dalton Vick and Brantley’s Taylor Tew were dominated in the first three innings. Tew recorded five of his six strikeouts in the first three innings. Vick was just as good, but in the third inning the Bulldogs were able to manufacture a run to take a 1-0 lead. Jud Owens walked to start the inning. An error on the centerfielder on a Tew hit put runners on second and third base. Blake Kilcrease allowed Owens to score.
In the fourth inning the top ranked team in Class 1A scored two runs with two outs to increase their lead to 3-0. Vick hit Matthew Holmes to lead off the inning. Holmes advanced to third base on a single by Andrew Lowery. Jared Wiley’s ground out to the shortstop allowed Holmes to make it 2-0. Clint Kilcrease RBI single to leftfield scored Lowery to make it 3-0.
The Wolves cut into the Brantley lead in the bottom half of the inning. Jared Williamson reached on an error by the shortstop to become the Wolves first base runner of the game. The senior stole second base to get in scoring position. A throwing error on a pick off attempt by the catcher allowed Williamson to come around to score.
The seventh ranked Wolves (11-13) completely came apart in the field after recording the second out in the fifth inning. With one runner on, Pat Smith hit a double to left field to score Reed Kilcrease to make it 4-1. An error on the shortstop on a Wiley hit allowed two more runs to score to make it 6-1. Clint Kilcrease hit a single to score Lowery to make it 7-1. A balk was called on Vick to allow Wiley to score from third base to make it 8-1.
“They had a couple of mistakes and we had a couple of hits to go with it to kind of open it up,” Brantley head coach Ashley Kilcrease said. “They did a great job of hosting this and it was a lot of fun to come to this.”
Fayetteville’s lone hit of the afternoon came in the bottom of the seventh inning by Justin Ricks.
The Wolves went 1-2 in the tournament against three of the top five teams in the state. Phillips is confident that his team can compete with any team in the state if they make the fundamental play and if they clean up their errors. “I feel like if we see them in the playoff we can compete with them,” Phillips said. “That has been our key all year. We take ourselves out of game by making mistakes and that’s what we did today. We have to correct that and apparently it is going to take some time.”
Vick scattered seven hits and allowed eight runs, two earned runs in seven innings off the mound on Saturday.
“I couldn’t ask for a better performance off the mound from him,” Phillips said. “He pitched lights out as far as hitting his location and hitting his spots. Whatever pitch I called he hit. He did a great job and he deserved the win, but we got to make plays behind him and we have to play to defense.”
The Wolves host a pivotal doubleheader against Wadley on Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m. If the Wolves win all four games next week against Wadley and TC Central they will earn the Class 1A Area 7 crown and a berth into the playoffs.
“We have a very important week next week,” Phillips said. “We have four area games and we are going to have our hands full. This is a critical week for us. We playing all area games that we must win, then we can relax a little bit and have fun again. That’s one thing we have done a lot this year relax and have fun. We are having to play catch up to much.”