Prep Baseball Report

Alabama HS Team Preview: Pike Liberal Arts Patriots

Austin Sharp
Alabama Scouting Director

The 2024 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 the Jacksonville/Oxford/Montgomery area 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 rankings 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 ranks in each AHSAA classification, as well updating our Power 25 overall rankings. One thing, especially, you don’t want to miss are our scheduled podcasts with guests from across the state, as well as the recaps and previews of the big games we’re covering.

*Please note the information has been gathered from head coaches across the state, based on their replies to the questionnaire we distributed over this offseason.

High School: Pike Liberal Arts Patriots
Head Coach: Will Austin
Classification: AHSAA Class 2A
Area Number: Class 2A, Area 5
2023 Record (Finish): 25-14 (Eliminated in Elite Eight)
No. of Returning Positional Starters: 5
No. of Returning Pitchers: 8
Team Strengths: Pitching, Defense



C John Lott (7/6/22)


Class of 2025

  • UTL/RHP Dawson Bradford (2025; uncommitted)
  • INF Pruitt Vaughan (2025; uncommitted)
  • OF/RHP Rhodes Baker (2025; uncommitted)
  • UTL/RHP Wilson Cotton (2025; uncommitted)


  • OF/RHP Weston Garrett (2026)
  • C Jack Baggett (2026)
  • INF/RHP Braden Shirley (2026)
  • INF/RHP Garrett Whittaker (2027)


The Pike Liberal Arts Patriots really didn't seem to skip a beat in their first season at the AHSAA level, as they were consistently one of the top-10 teams in Class 2A for the majority of the season. After reaching the Elite 8 in 2023, the Patriots are looking to build off of that success this spring and make a real push to the state finals at the end of the season.

After the Patriots started the 2023 season with a 1-6 record, most fans would have written them off for the rest of the season. However, if you looked at the quality of competition they played throughout the season, it's no surprise they made a deep run throughout the Class 2A playoffs. Sure, they took their lumps against some higher classification teams early in the season getting acclimated to the AHSAA level, but if you saw them play in-person, you could see the talent was there and it was just a matter of "when", not "if". They quickly reeled off 10 straight wins in the middle part of the season and swept through their area series, setting them up for the best position to start the playoffs. After winning series against Cottonwood and Bayshore Christian in the opening rounds, that set up a massive series in the Elite 8 against Ariton, who was ranked inside the top-3 for the entirety of the season. After dropping Game 1 by score of 7-6 on a walk-off single in the bottom of the 8th, they responded with mercy-rule 14-4 victory in Game 2 to push the series to a Game 3. Unfortuntely, they were defeated by score of 14-4 to close out their season with a 25-14 record. All things considered, it was a very successful season in their first year in Class 2A, but expectations are high once again this season with a strong nucleus returning, especially on the pitching staff. LHP Will Rice (Wallace-Dothan CC, 2024) returns as their ace on the mound after a strong junior season, while C John Lott (2024) is a multi-year starter behind the plate who should be one of their unquestioned leaders this spring. UTL Houston Gunter (2024) is another returning senior, while RHP/INF Luke Barron (2025), RHP/INF Kade Brookins (2025), and RHP/INF Cole Garrott (2027) all started last season and are expected play big roles again this season as two-way players. Some more juniors to watch for this spring are UTL/RHP Dawson Bradford (2025), INF Pruitt Vaughan (2025), OF/RHP Rhodes Baker (2025), and UTL/RHP Wilson Cotton (2025), all of which are expected to assume important roles this spring. OF/RHP Weston Garrett (2026), C Jack Baggett (2026), INF/RHP Braden Shirley (2026), and INF/RHP Garrett Whitaker (2026) are also some talented underclassmen who are looking to make their impact at the varsity level this spring and compete for playing time in the early part of the season. 

Looking at the 2024 schedule for the Patriots, they once again will face-off against some talented and higher classifications programs this season in hopes to prepare them for another playoff push this spring. They'll compete in Area 5 against Goshen, Highland Home, and Luverne for a berth in the playoffs at the end of the regular season. Expect for Pike Liberal Arts to once again be a major contender in Class 2A in 2024.

Find more information on the 2024 Pike Liberal Arts School program below:

+ Follow them on X: @BaseballPike
+ Visit the Prep Baseball Alabama, 2024 HS Team Previews


+ Prep Baseball Alabama on X
+ Prep Baseball Alabama on Instagram
+ Prep Baseball Alabama on Facebook


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