Lowndes Academy wins AISA baseball championship

Published 8:32 pm Tuesday, May 9, 2023

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Lowndes Academy seniors Noah Smith, Walker McQueen, Trey Thomas, and Clay Duncan hold the Alabama Independent Schools Association (AISA) 1A State Championship trophy after the game.
Photo by Elizabeth Thomas

The Lowndes Academy varsity baseball team are the new Alabama Independent Schools Association (AISA) 1A champions after beating Wilcox Academy in a double-header on Tuesday. Coach Shane Moye said the coveted spot has been a long time in the making.

“It feels good,” Moye said. “We have been here twice before but weren’t able to get the win. The kids just played really well, and this is just an awesome feeling.

The Rebels clinched the win scoring 11-1 in the first play against Wilcox and 12-1 in the final play against the Wildcats.  Lowndes ended the season with 30 wins and12 losses.

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Among supporters who have cheered the team along every step are two baseball Moms who said they couldn’t be prouder.

Elizabeth Thomas is all smiles after cheering on her son, Trey, and his teammates. “I think they are all excited,” Thomas said. “He didn’t play too much in these two games, but his teammates pretty much took it over and ran with it.”  

Trey Thomas is a senior who pitched one inning on Tuesday. 

“There is a group of four seniors on the team who have had an amazing season, and they all need to be recognized,” Thomas said. “They worked really hard. They started out 4 wins and 8 losses and then turned it around. It was a team effort. They worked for each other.”

Lauren Hopkins agreed with Thomas. Her sons, senior Clay Duncan and freshman pitcher Cooper Carver played in the championship, which felt bittersweet Hopkins.

“Today has been a ball of emotions,” Hopkins said. “It’s the last game that they will ever step onto a field and play together. So, I mean it has been a lot. Like Elizabeth said, they worked hard. They played for each other. Everything that they do is as a team. So, after the game, you could see it on their faces. When they dog piled on the field, it was just all emotion.”

Coach Moye agreed that the win was a team effort, and the team supported each other well.

“Clay Duncan was unbelievable,” Coach Moye said. “In the first game Clay was 3 for 3 with 4 runs scored. In the second game, he was 3 for 4 with 4 RBIs [runs batted in]. Clay is a leader and does everything right all the time. He deserved to have had the game that he had.

“Nick Dougan, our first baseman, played well. Walter McQueen hit well, and our pitching from Clayton Hussey was just great. Cooper Dansby was outstanding. We had a relief pitcher, 9th grader Bradyn Stokes, who came in with the bases loaded and got two outs without letting them score. Bradyn also hit a double and drove in two runs. So, it was a team effort by far, no doubt.” 

The two starting pitchers, Hussey and Dansby, are both juniors. Moye said they only allowed two hits. 

Dunken, Noah Smith, McQueen, and Thomas are all seniors; Nick Dougan is a junior.

The AISA All-Star Games will be held on Saturday at Patterson Field in Montgomery. The juniors will play at 3 p.m. and the seniors will play at 6 p.m.

 “We had two juniors who will play in the junior All-Star Game, and they are Clayton Hussey and Cooper Dansby. In the senior game, Noah Smith, Clay Dunken, and Walker McQueen will play,” said Moye. The all-star players are nominated by the coaching staff based on season stats.

“We have a bunch of good players. We’ve won two football state championships, and you know the baseball team was just hungry to win,” Moye said. “Today was a great day.”