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The Bessemer Academy Rebels baseball team advances to the AISA State Championship as they defeated the Glenwood Gators in two games 10 - 9 and 15 - 0 in the third round of the AISA Class 3A Playoffs at home on Wednesday, May 6, 2021.
In the first game of the series Bessemer Academy scored first in the bottom of the first on a single from Ethan Leatherman bringing in Alton Davis. In the top of the 1st Glenwood went three and out. Bessemer Academy scored 3 more runs in the bottom of the 2nd, which included a single to right field from Andrew Oswalt bringing home Luke Anderson, a grounded fielder choice by H Lopacki allowing A Oswalt to score, on an error on a ground ball hit by A Davis bringing Elijah Evans home and a run scored by Hunter Lopacki on hit by by Leatherman. At the end of the 2nd inning Bessemer Academy had a commanding lead of 5 - 0 over the Gators. Glenwood scored 2 in the top of the 3rd to make the score 5 - 2. The Rebels answered back in the bottom the 3rd with two runs scored on a sacrificed fly from Evans bringing home Anderson and a single from Lopacki allowing Oswalt to score. The 4th inning was scoreless. In the top of the 5th Glenwood mounted a comeback and tied the score 7 to 7. Then in the bottom of the 5th Bessemer Academy wasn’t able to answer back. In the top of the 6th Glenwood took the lead 9 - 7 and in the bottom of the 6th Bessemer Academy was held scoreless. At the top of the 7th Bessemer Academy was able to hold off Glenwood to a 3 and out with a pop fly and two strikeouts by Garrett Barrentine. In the bottom of the 7th Bessemer Academy was down by two runs until Anderson got a triple on a ground ball to left field and drove in Leatherman and Landon Dial. With the score tied 9 - 9 and with the winning run Anderson sitting on 3rd, Glenwood walked the next two batters Oswalt and John Moore to make the bases loaded for a chance at an easy out and the victory. Elijah Evans calmly stepped up to the plate for Bessemer Academy and hit a ground ball to left field to drive home Luke Anderson to win the game 10 - 9 for the Rebels. Ethan Leatherman was the starting pitcher for Besssemer Academy and he went six innings with five strikeouts. Garrett Barrentine came in the 7th for Besssemer Academy to close the game with two strikeouts not allowing any runs or hits. Anderson, Oswalt, Evans, and Leatherman lead the Rebels at the plate with two hits each.
The second game was a shutout for the Rebels 15 - 0. The Rebels got off to a booming start in the first inning with Ethan Leatherman leading off the scoring with a double line drive to center field allowing Alton Davis to score. Next up Tyner Patterson scored on a sacrifice fly to center field by Landon Dial. The next to scores came from a double on a fly ball to center field by Andrew Oswalt driving home Ethan Leatherman and Luke Anderson. Next up to bat was John Moore who singled on a ground ball to left field allowing Oswalt to score. When the dust cleared at the end of the first inning Bessemer Academy had a commanding lead of 5 - 0. The Rebels continued their scoring in the second inning with the bases load Leatherman was walked bringing in Hunter Lopacki and then on the next at bat Dial gets walked bringing home Alton Davis making the score 7 - 0. Then Tyner Patterson scores on a ground out to second base by A Oswalt to make the score 8 - 0. John Moore knocks one out of the park for a home run bringing home Leatherman and Dial to make the score 11 - 0. In the bottom of the 2nd Glenwood couldn’t find any scoring as Bessemer Academy’s pitcher Alton Davis gets three straight strikeouts. In the top of the third inning Bessemer Academy kept the scoring going as Lopacki scored on a passed ball to make the score 12 - 0. Leatherman singled on a line drive and Patterson crossed home to bring the score to 13 - 0, then at the next at bat Dial hit a home run over the left field fence to bring home Leatherman to make the score 15 - 0. In the bottom of the third Glenwood started of with a single to get on base but then Bessemer Academy’s Alton Davis struck out the next batter for Glenwood. The game ended in dramatic fashion on a double play as Glenwood grounded a ball down the middle Bessemer Academy’s shortstop Hunter Lopacki picked it up tossed it to second baseman Elijah Evans to tag out the advancing runner and then threw it to first baseman Tyner Patterson for the final out. The game ended there because of the Mercy Rule. Alton Davis was credited with the shutout win as he threw for 3 innings allowing zero runs and only three hits, with 3 strike outs. Leatherman, Lopacki, Moore and Patterson each lead the Rebels in hits with two each.
With the win the Bessemer Academy Rebels make school history as the first baseball team to ever make it to the AISA State Championship. The Bessemer Academy Rebels will take on the Pike Liberal Arts Patriots in the Championship in Montgomery at Patterson Field on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 in a best 2 out of 3. The first game will take place at 10:00 am and the second game will take place at 12:00 pm. If they split then the final game will be on Thursday, May 13 at 11:00 am.