Jason Miller broke a 3-3 extra innings tie in the bottom of the ninth with a sacrifice fly and Ashley Ridge won their first AAAA State Baseball Championship with a 4-3 win over Byrnes at White Knoll High School on Monday night.
For the Swamp Foxes, the win caps an amazing season that saw them finish 31-2 including 2 wins facing elimination at the hands of the Rebels over the last 3 days.
It was the Rebels who got off to a quick start in the first inning as Reed Rohlman started off the top of the first with a leadoff homerun off Austin Livingston to give Byrnes a 1-0 lead.
Ashley Ridge would respond in the bottom of the third inning with a sac fly from Nick Bell to tie things at 1-1.
Byrnes answered right back in the top of the 4th with an RBI base hit from Alex Eubanks to give the Rebels a 2-1 lead. Taylor Warren followed that with a squeeze bunt that allowed a run to score to make it 3-1.
The Swamp Foxes would tie things up in bottom of the 5th as some botched defensive plays from Byrnes allowed Ashley Ridge to score the first run of the inning. Austin Livingston would bring home the innings 2nd run to again tie the game at 3-3.
The score stayed that way until the end despite multiple chances for both teams most notably in the 7th inning. The Rebels loaded the bases with one out in the top of the inning but Livingston worked his way out of the jam by striking out a batter and forcing a ground out to end the inning. Ashley Ridge put runners and 2nd and 3rd in the bottom of the 7th with no one out and had the bases loaded with 1 out, but they couldn't get the winning run home either.
The Swamp Foxes would get the bases loaded again in the 9th and it was Miller, who had a chance to end the game in the 7th, who came through with the big hit.
Alex Cunningham was impressive on the mound for Byrnes, who lost their 3rd straight State Title series, going the complete game with 11 strikeouts. But Livingston was just a little bit better on the mound for Ashley Ridge as he pitched a complete game giving up 8 hits and had 9 strikeouts. He finishes the season 11-1.