For the first time since 2011, the Glenwood baseball team finds itself two wins away from a state championship.
After a thrilling extra-inning victory in Game 3 of its semifinal series against Monroe Academy, Glenwood will face Pike Liberal Arts School in the AISA Class 3A finals.
The series will begin at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Paterson Field in Montgomery, Ala. The teams will play a doubleheader and, if necessary, a third game at noon Thursday.
To make it to this point, the Gators had to battle through a 13-inning loss in Game 2 in which neither team scored a run until the game-winner from Monroe and a come-from-behind victory in Game 3.
Chad Silvani hit a game-tying grand slam in the top of the seventh inning to force extras and then walked with the bases loaded to send the Gators to the championship series.
While coach Tim Fanning agreed the game was fun, he said he hoped the finale came without the drama.
"It was fun, but I'd rather make it a little less interesting next week," he said after the win last Thursday.
Pike defeated the defending state champions, Tuscaloosa Academy, in three games in its semifinal series. Tuscaloosa was widely believed to be the favorite in the tournament coming in.
Elsewhere in the Bi-City area, Columbus, Hardaway, Harris County and Calvary Christian will all continue their playoff pursuits this week, as well.
Harris County hosts Starr's Mill on Wednesday at 4, while Hardaway, a 2 seed, will travel to face Whitewater at 4:30 p.m.
Columbus, a 2 seed for the first time in 12 years, will be forced to hit the road against Walnut Grove at 5 p.m. Walnut Grove was taken to three games by 4 seed Columbia in the first round.
The Calvary Christian baseball team earned a region championship for the first time since 2001 and hosted its first-round playoff series at Golden Park last week against Covington Academy, which it swept with the help of a no-hitter from Jackson Sellers.
The Knights will again host in the GICAA semifinals, this time against Praise Academy. Game 1 will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday. Game 2 will be at 2 p.m. Saturday with a possible decisive third game to follow.