Prep Baseball Report

Top-10 Most Intriguing Playoff Series: Elite 8 Edition

Prep Baseball Alabama Staff

Continuing to provide in-depth coverage of high school baseball in the state of AL, we introduce a new series beginning this week ranking the Top-10 Elite 8 series in the Class 7A-1A Playoffs. Below you will find important information regarding these series, including classification ranking, 2024 record, times and locations, our predictions, and last week's results for all 10 of these series. Our staff will continue to be out covering numerous games this weekend throughout the state, and look forward to seeing how these series play out.

While all series in the Class 7A-1A Playoffs are important in their own regard, we thought it would be fun and interesting to take a stab at ranking these series from No. 1-No. 10 heading into this weekend. If you would like to find out more about every series in the Elite 8, give a listen to Episode 16 of our podcast for full previews and predictions for this weekend's matchups across all seven classifications.


+ No. 10: 6A Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa @ 6A Baldwin County

Fri., May 3, 5 & 7:30 p.m. (Game 3, Sat., May 4, 1 p.m., if needed) @ Baldwin County HS (Bay Minette, AL)

+ Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa Patriots

Classification Ranking: Class 6A "Just Outside the Top-10"
2023 Record: 26-10
Playoff Results: Defeated No. 5 Faith Academy (12-5, 5-2) & Pike Road (5-0, 6-5)

+ Baldwin County Tigers

Classification Ranking: Class 6A "Just Outside the Top-10"
2023 Record: 27-9
Playoff Results: Defeated No. 4 Helena (10-7, 4-3) & Hueytown (3-2, 16-0)

+ The playoffs are never easy, especially in Class 6A, but both of these teams haven't seemed to break much of a sweat in their first two rounds while going against some of the top competition in the classification. These are two of the hottest teams in the state, and while they didn't finish inside the top-10 in Class 6A, they've done more than prove they're two of the top teams in the state. Looking at Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa, you can always count on the Patriots to be playing their best baseball in the playoffs. The Patriots seem to be led by C/RHP Evan Williams (Northwest Shoals CC, 2024) and RHP/OF Jackson Henderson (Shelton State CC, 2024), both of which make a big impact at the plate and on the mound. At the top of the order, OF Kahden Smith (2026), INF Jameson Farley (2024), 1B Brooks Tunnell (2024), and 3B Noah Latham (2025) are just a few more offensive contributors in addition to Williams and Henderson. On the mound, Williams is a strong option in Game 1 while RHP Spencer Davis (2025) is another solid option on their staff who has come out of the bullpen in his past couple of outings. For Baldwin County, the Tigers are led by SS Quincy Walters (Coastal Alabama-South CC, 2024) at the top of the order who has proved to be a catalyst for their offense. Behind him, C Eli Woody (Coastal Alabama-South CC, 2024), 1B/LHP Aiden Owens (2025), OF Jackson Paul (2025), and INF Reid Johnson (2025) are all upperclassmen who can drive in plenty of runs in the heart of their order. On the mound, LHP Jaxen Schuler (Bishop State CC, 2024) and LHP Landen Walker (Montevallo, 2024) are a pair of senior southpaws who have delivered quality outing after quality outing this spring against talented competition. With both of these teams being so hot coming into this matchup, this series is another one that could go either way with a spot in the Final 4 on the line in Class 6A.

Austin's Pick: Baldwin County
David's Pick: Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa

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