MONTGOMERY -- Winning pitcher Tanner Bozeman's bases-loaded double in the top of the sixth inning Tuesday night drove in two important runs and propelled Shoals Christian to a 7-2 win over Brantley as the 2015 AHSAA Class 1A state baseball championship series got underway here at Paterson Field.
The Flame (22-18) and Bulldogs (15-18) meet in game two as the best two-of-three series moves to Riverwalk Stadium Wednesday at 10 a.m. Should as third game be needed, it will start after the first game at approximately 1 p.m. Tuesday's opener started an hour late at 8 p.m. due to a brief rain that came prior to the scheduled 7 p.m. start. Bozeman (7-3), a junior left-hander, allowed 11 hits and struck out five to pitch the complete game. Batting lead-off, he had two hits, scored a run and drove in three – two coming in the big sixth inning. Brantley, which started its season for Coach Greg Evans at 1-9, trailed 1-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning with the bases loaded when an attempted steal at home ended the inning. Coach Jason Anderson's Flame rallied from that exceptional defensive play by catcher Johnathan Brock to score four runs and turned the one-run game into a 5-0 deficit. Trenton Gillis followed in the top of the seventh inning with a two-run homer over the left-field wall to extend the lead to 7-0. The Bulldogs rallied in the bottom of the seventh to plate two runs on Jacob Free's RBI double and Tate Tatum's RBI single. Shoals Christian managed nine hits and four earned runs off Brantley hurler Tommy Spivey (3-6), who also struck out five in a complete-game effort. Bozeman and Gillis each had two hits for the Flame and Josh Vardeman slugged a double. Centerfielder Riley Jobin had three hits to pace Brantley. Adrian Person and Spivey also had two hits. The Class 2A championship series between Mobile Christian and Randolph County gets underway at 4 p.m. at Paterson Field Wednesday, and the Class 4A series opens at 7 p.m. with Trinity Presbyterian taking on Brooks, also at Paterson Field. All baseball series games are being live-streamed by the NFHS Network. Details on the broadcast can be found at www.ahsaa.com. The AHSAA state softball tournament also starts at Lagoon Park Wednesday morning with Class 7A opening play at 10 a.m. The NFHS Network will live-stream all the finals in the double-elimination softball competition.