Rebels earn first playoff berth since 2009

Published 3:24 pm Monday, April 15, 2024

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NATCHEZ — Adams County Christian School’s varsity baseball team secured a postseason berth for the first time in a long time thanks to the Rebels’ Senior Night doubleheader sweep of MAIS District 4-5A newcomer Providence Classical Academy last Friday afternoon.

Tyson Young pitched a two-hitter while Levi Beesley, Tristan Burns, and Colton Rabb each hit a home run in ACCS’s 20-0 win over the Providence Classical Academy Knights in five innings in Game 1 and then Sean Kerry Cothern threw a one-hitter in the Rebels’ 14-0 win over the Knights that also lasted five innings.

In the first game of the doubleheader, ACCS came ready to play from the get-go and there was nothing that Providence Classical Academy could do about it. The Rebels scored six runs in the bottom of the first inning and nine runs in the bottom of the second.

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“Proud of the way our guys came on from pitch one of a doubleheader with focus, intensity, and urgency,” Rebels head coach Jake Winston said. “Probably the first time all year we have seen that and it was good to see, especially late in the season.”

The Rebels’ bats cooled off just a little bit in the bottom of the third inning, but they came alive again in the bottom of the fourth as they put up five runs.

Beesley also had a double and went 2-for-2 while Rabb ended up going 3-for-3. Burns was 1-for-2 while Caden Aplin was 3-for-3 and Donovan Ryan had a double of his own. As a team, the Rebels had 12 base hits.

Young threw just 58 pitches and struck out eight batters. He also hit three batters, but the defense behind him committed no errors.

“They handled themselves professionally and took care of business, so we were glad to see that from them in a big district win,” Winston said.

In Game 2 of the twinbill, Cothern threw just 49 pitches over his five innings and struck out eight batters while walking none. He helped his cause at the plate by going 2-for-3 with a double. The Rebels’ win over the Knights in the nightcap allowed ACCS to clinch a playoff berth in the Class 5A South State Playoffs.

“Huge district win for the club. This win secured a playoff berth for the first time since 2009 and I couldn’t be happier for our young men,” Winston said. “They battled through a lot of adversity this year with probably the toughest schedule we’ve had, since I’ve been her, and came up with some big wins when it mattered to put themselves in this position.”

The Rebels ended up with 15 base hits while their defense, for the second straight game, did not commit a single error. They scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning, one run in the bottom of the second, and two runs in the bottom of the third before putting the game out of reach with a nine-run barrage in the bottom of the fourth.

Aplin went 3-for-3 for the second consecutive game, this time with a triple and two doubles. Burns was 3-for-4, finishing a home run away from hitting for the cycle. Rabb was 2-for-4 with a triple and Beesley was 2-for-3. Jackson Anderson had a double of his own.

“The strides these 16 young men have made, throughout the year, is more than any team I’ve coached,” Winston said. “The record doesn’t show it, but we know as a group what we’ve done and I couldn’t be prouder. Congrats to these young men on setting a new standard for ACCS baseball.”

Before the postseason begins next week, ACCS (5-16, 4-7) still had a couple of games to play this week to round out the regular season. First, the Rebels traveled to Bossier City, La. for a make-up District 4-5A varsity-only game at Providence Classical Academy at 6 p.m. Monday. Then they played a home varsity-only game against Canton Academy at 6 p.m. Tuesday.