Alabama High School Team Preview: Ariton Purple Cats

PBR Alabama Staff

The 2022 high school baseball season is quickly approaching and as usual, excitement abounds throughout the state. Players and coaches have been working in preparation for the upcoming season and, as is the case each year, there are some very talented players and teams across Alabama.

Teams across the state have goals and aspirations to finish their seasons in Montgomery at the AISA or AHSAA state championships, but there is plenty of work to be done before that becomes reality. We hope to familiarize our readers with many of the teams across the state as we preview individual teams across Alabama. We will take you right up to first pitch this season with these team previews and by continuing our scheduled podcasts and releasing our preseason Top 10 in each AHSAA classification. 

Please keep checking back throughout the season as we will be your one-stop shop for everything related to high school baseball across the state. Each week we will be releasing our players of the week, updating the Top 10 in each AHSAA classification as well as a Power 25. One thing that you especially don’t want to miss are our scheduled podcasts with guests from across the state as well as recaps and previews of big games across the state.  

*Please note that all information is based on team preview questionnaires that were sent out and returned by the participating high school coaches.

High School Name: Ariton Purple Cats 

Coach’s Name: Logan Dunlap

Classification: AHSAA 2A 

Area Number: Area 3 

No. of Returning Positional Starters:

No. of Returning Pitchers:

Team Strengths: Infield Depth, Competitive, Motivated

Top Returning Players:

Team Outlook

The Ariton Purple Cats bring back a talented and experienced team in 2022 after making a deep run throughout the Class 2A State Playoffs. The Purple Cats were one game away from reaching the Class 2A State Finals last year, but were unfortunately eliminated in Game 3 to GW Long in the Final Four. 

The Purple Cats bring back the bulk of that roster from last year, and they're looking to avenge their Final Four loss and make it to Jacksonville/Oxford for the Class 2A State Finals. OF Landon Tyler is an extremely important piece coming back for his junior season after a breakout sophomore campaign. Tyler is a talented, athletic player who led the team in home runs & RBI's last year. 1B Connor Thrash is another junior the coaches are looking for a big year from. Thrash will move to 1st base after spending time behind the plate last year, and looks poised for another stellar spring. SS/RHP Caden Collier is a very talented middle infielder who has great range and a bright future. Collier started at shortstop last year as a freshman and hit over .400 in the process. 2B/RHP Phenix Griffin is another player in the junior class returning to the lineup this spring. Griffin is a two-year starter on the infield and is starting to show some power at the plate. He'll also be one of the Purple Cats' top returning arms on the mound. RHP/INF Paxton Steed will be another pitcher to keep an eye on this spring, as he'll look to build off of the success he had last year. Steed has a chance to be a real ace for this staff heading into his junior year. UTL Lawson Leger is another junior returner who can do a variety of things for this team. Leger can play multiple positions defensively and will also be a reliable bat, as well.

The Purple Cats shouldn't sneak up on anyone this spring, as they should be one of the more talented teams in Class 2A. Expect Ariton to be right back where they finished last year with a chance to make to the Class 2A State Finals


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