Gators have sights set on state title - WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Gators have sights set on state title

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The Glenwood Gators were three outs from going home.

Packing it up.

Checking it in.

Down 6-2 in the seventh inning of game three of their semifinal matchup with Monroe.

But then Chad Silvani happened.

The senior first baseman took a fastball and deposited it—with the bases loaded—over the fence amidst Glenwood’s “Bleacher Creatures” for a game-tying grand slam. He went on to draw a bases-loaded walk in the eighth inning that ended the game and put the Gators in the state title series.

That also means they get another week of practice.

“We’ve been really excited about it,” Silvani said. “It was kind of hard to expect something like this going into that seventh inning, being down by four runs. [I] wasn’t expecting to practice this week, but it’s a blessing.”

Head coach Tim Fanning thinks the realization of how close the season—and the seniors’ careers—came to ending has helped this week.

“They were ready to come back to practice the next day, even after a series like that,” Fanning said. “I think it was because they were that close to not coming back to practice.”

So now Fanning and the Gators turn their attention to Pike Academy, who they beat twice during the regular season. Staff ace Tanner Thomason will start game one, with Lawson Humphries going in game two.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Fanning called this year’s Gator squad the youngest he’s coached, but credits the upperclassmen for bringing everyone together.

“The seniors are there for them to help them in any way they can,” he said. “I think they’ve really just grown. The team chemistry is outstanding on this team.”

Silvani said it’s been a season-long goal.

“We’re a family out here,” he said. “That’s what we worked on all year: being on this field together and just playing as a team.”

First pitch for the series with Pike is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. CT at Paterson Field in Montgomery on Wednesday. Game two will follow immediately after, and, if needed, game three will be Thursday morning at 11:00 a.m.

Jonathan Huskey

Jonathan comes to News 3 from Fort Smith/Fayetteville, Ark., where he anchored weekends and reported during the week on some of the best high school sports in the state. More>>

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