2018-04-13 / Sports

Falcons win Forest Acres Classic

By Mike Maddock


The A.C. Flora Falcons, 2018 Forest Acres Classic Champions: 1 Leighton Long; 2 Jack Stokes; 5 Harmon Cox; 6 Henry Mills; 9 Grant Loggins; 11 Caleb Speedy; 12 Elliott Thompson; 14 Luke Marriner; 15 Jake Bytnar; 16 Tanner Bethea; 17 Will Bethea; 18 John Wolfe; 19 Bryce Phillips; 21 Wallace Truluck; 24 Phillips Daniels; 26 Nic Poole; 29 John McCabe; 30 Cam Martinez; 31 Hamilton Jenkins; 32 Baker Cox; 37 Tyler Kennedy; 38 Michael Wright; 39 Edwin Martin; Head Coach Andy Hallett; Assistant Coaches Bryan Triplett and Woody Paschal; and Manager Allen Hank. The A.C. Flora Falcons, 2018 Forest Acres Classic Champions: 1 Leighton Long; 2 Jack Stokes; 5 Harmon Cox; 6 Henry Mills; 9 Grant Loggins; 11 Caleb Speedy; 12 Elliott Thompson; 14 Luke Marriner; 15 Jake Bytnar; 16 Tanner Bethea; 17 Will Bethea; 18 John Wolfe; 19 Bryce Phillips; 21 Wallace Truluck; 24 Phillips Daniels; 26 Nic Poole; 29 John McCabe; 30 Cam Martinez; 31 Hamilton Jenkins; 32 Baker Cox; 37 Tyler Kennedy; 38 Michael Wright; 39 Edwin Martin; Head Coach Andy Hallett; Assistant Coaches Bryan Triplett and Woody Paschal; and Manager Allen Hank. The A.C. Flora Falcons dropped a tough 2-1 decision to Cardinal Newman in their opening game of the 2018 Forest Acres Classic but then bounced back to beat Dutch Fork 9-4 and West Cateret (N.C.) 9-6 to earn a spot in the title game against defending champion River Bluff Gators. There they battled back from a one-run deficit to defeat the Gators 5-4 in extra innings and claim the crown on April 5.


A.C. Flora’s Will Bethea pitches against River Bluff. Bethea was chosen as the tournament MVP. A.C. Flora’s Will Bethea pitches against River Bluff. Bethea was chosen as the tournament MVP. River Bluff struck first in the bottom half of the first inning when Alex Urban led off with a single and eventually scored on Jordan Halliday’s single to left center field.

Halliday’s single also loaded the bases with one out, but the Falcons avoided disaster when pitcher Will Bethea induced a grounder back to the mound from Hunter Garris. Bethea tossed the ball home to catcher Jack Stokes for the force out, and Stokes fired the ball to first to get Garris and end the inning.

A.C. Flora finally got on the board in the top of the third when Henry Mills led off with a single to center field. A batter later, Bethea sent a blast over the left center field fence to give the Falcons a 2-1 lead. Baker Cox was then hit by a pitch and eventually scored on a River Bluff error to give A.C. Flora a 3- 1 cushion.

The Gators battled back to take a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning when Halliday led off with a double off the right center field fence and eventually scored on Garris’s deep sacrifice fly to center field.

Grey Burnett, who had reached on an error, then scored on a dropped fly ball to tie the game at 3-3. Cleburne Gray then roped a double to left field that plated Noah Lebron for a 4-3 River Bluff edge.

The Falcons responded by tying the game in the top of the fifth as Bethea led off with a walk, stole second and third base, and came home on Leighton Long’s single to center field.

River Bluff stranded two runners in both the fifth and sixth innings as Jake Bytnar, who came on in relief to start the second inning, worked his way out of the jams. A.C. Flora stranded one in the sixth and two in the top of the seventh giving the Gators an opportunity to win it in the bottom of the seventh.

Halliday led off with a bomb to deep left field, but Michael Wright was able to reel it in at the fence. Burnett then grounded out to Long at shortstop, and Garris lined out to left field to end the River Bluff seventh.

Bytnar led off the top of the eighth for Flora by getting hit by a pitch. John McCabe stepped in as a courtesy runner and promptly stole second base. He moved to third on Mills’s ground out to second base.

Max Childress then came in to pinch hit and knocked a single to right field sending McCabe home for the go-ahead run. Bethea then walked, but Baker Cox’s blast to deep center was caught by Jackson Hannon to end the Falcon eighth.

Lebron walked to start the River Bluff half of the inning. Andrew Herndon then laid down a sacrifice bunt. Ricky Williams was hit by a pitch. Urban followed with a pop fly to left field for the second out, but Cameron Ferrell was hit by a pitch as well to load the bases.

Bytnar once again pitched out of the jam getting Hannon to pop up in foul territory on the third base side for the game’s final out.

Bethea was named the tournament MVP. The senior went 5-for-12 from the plate with a double, single, and a home run. He finished with three RBIs and six runs scored. He also pitched three innings striking out three and earning a save.

Caleb Speedy and Long were named to the all-tournament team, and McCabe was given the team’s all academic award.

Return to top