Hillcrest baseball set for another playoff showdown with Stanhope-Elmore
By WVUA23 Sports Reporter Jason Williams
Hillcrest baseball is preparing for a familiar foe.
The Patriots will host Stanhope-Elmore in the quarterfinals of the Class 6A playoffs in a series set for Thursday and Friday.
It’s the third year in a row that Hillcrest and Stanhope-Elmore have faced one another in the postseason.
“I would say for any team, it’s this team,” Hillcrest senior Harrison McPherson said. “I believe this is our third year in a row playing them in the playoffs. And we’ve swept them both times I think. So I think with that there’s something we have to hold up and they got the last three years in the back of their mind.”
Hillcrest will host Stanhope-Elmore in the quarterfinals, just as it did the past two years. In 2021, the Patriots swept the Mustangs in a first-round matchup. Last year, Hillcrest defeated Stanhope-Elmore in the quarterfinals.
Hillcrest baseball coach Mark Garner says meeting in the postseason for a third consecutive years speaks to how well both programs perform in “playoff time”.
“They’ve grown as a program and have had a really good season,” Garner said. “So us seeing them again I guess it’s grown into a playoff rivalry. But it’s good it means both programs have taken steps into the right direction when it gets late in the year.”
Garner mentioned that Stanhope-Elmore is very experienced. He calls the Mustangs “senior loaded” with players are signed to play college baseball at programs like UAB, Jacksonville State, Troy, South Alabama, and Gulf Coast State College.