Wednesday, August 21, 2019

 

            


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AHSAA News


AHSAA State Baseball Championships Class 2A State Baseball Championship Series Game 1: G.W. Long 18, Westbrook Christian 5

    MONTGOMERY – Defending Class 2A state champion G.W. Long scored 10 runs in the top of the first inning on eight hits and cruised to an 18-5 victory over Westbrook Christian in the opening game of the AHSAA Class 2A State Baseball Championship Series Wednesday night at Paterson Field.
     The two teams will resume the best 2-of-3 series at 10 a.m., Thursday at Riverwalk Stadium, home of the Southern League AA Montgomery Biscuits. Game three, if needed, will follow immediately after completion of the second game.  All AHSAA Championship Series games are being live-streamed by the NFHS Network over its subscriber-based platform. For more information, go to www.nfhsnetwork.com.
    The Rebels (33-6) of Coach Drew Miller, winners of an AHSAA state-record 15 state baseball titles with the first coming in 1989, wasted little time in taking control of the opening game at Paterson Field. Kam Faria opened with a double down the left-field line and when he came up the plate for the second time in the inning nine batters later, he walked to force in a run. Senior third baseman Matt Snell had a two-run double and sophomore Harrison Gray drove in two runs with a single. A total of 15 Rebels hitters came to the plate in the inning.
    Long added four runs in the second and third innings to take an 18-1 lead before Westbrook Christian(23-13) rallied for three runs in the fourth and one in the fifth. The game was called after five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.
   Snell finished with three hits and three RBIs, catcher Slade Simmons had two hits, including a triple, and had three RBIs, and Gray had two hits and two RBIs.  Trevor Morris scored four runs and had one hit. Collecting doubles were Faria, Snell, Gray and Jake Steed.
     Westbrook catcher Greysen Robinson had two hits and drove in three runs for Coach Matt Kennedy’s Warriors. Third baseman Isaac James had a double and single and one RBI.
      Westbrook used five pitchers with starter Ashley Dutton getting the loss. The  Warriors issued six walks and hit one batter.  G.W. Long used three hurlers with Jake Steed working the final three innings. Christian Collier pitched the first inning and Carson Dunlap hurled the second inning.
    The Class 4A State Championship Series opened Wednesday night in the second game with Sipsey Valley facing Brooks. That series will resume at Riverwalk Stadium Thursday at 4 p.m.
    Classes 5A and 6A open play in those championship series at Paterson Field Thursday. Briarwood Christian (19-14) plays Springville (32-6) at 4 p.m., in game 1 of the Class 5A series, and Cullman (28-13) faces Chelsea (26-13) in the 6A first  game at 7. Both series move to Riverwalk Friday.
    The Class 7A series featuring Bob Jones (41-8) and McGill-Toolen Catholic (30-7) will play its first game Friday night at Paterson Field at 6 p.m. The 7A series will conclude Saturday at Riverwalk Stadium with game 2 at 10 a.m.


 


AHSAA State Baseball Championships Class 3A State Baseball Championship Series Game 3: Providence Christian 16, Piedmont 6 (6 innings)

    MONTGOMERY – Providence Christian rebounded from a 5-4 loss in game two of the AHSAA Class 3A State Baseball Championship Series at Riverwalk Stadium Wednesday to claim the school’s first state baseball title winning game three 16-6.
     The Eagles (30-9), who won game one on Tuesday 4-0,  fell behind 3-0 after two innings in deciding game before rallying to tie the contest at 3-3 in the top of the third. Coach Casey Smith’s team took the lead 5-3 with two runs in the fourth inning and then tacked on nine runs in the top of the fifth to take a 14-3 lead. Piedmont, which forced game three with a 5-4 nine-inning win in game two Wednesday morning, got three runs back in the bottom of the inning to avoid the 10-run rule ending but yielded two runs in the sixth as PCA closed out the win.
    Winning pitcher Will Solomon relieved starter David Warren in the bottom of the first when the pitcher left the mound due to an injury. Solomon tossed 5 2/3 innings allowing seven hits, five runs and striking out six in a journeyman relief effort. Coleman Wright closed out the game getting the final out.
    Providence Christian slugged 12 hits in the third game with Cole Smith pounding three hits and driving in two runs. Bayden Banner had one hit and had four RBIs, and Jake Smith slugged two hits to plate two more runs. No. 9 hitter Reid Leger scored three runs and had one hit and two RBIs.
     The Eagles had seven hits in the fifth-inning outburst and also took advantage of three Piedmont errors to send collect nine runs. Jake Smith and Reid Leger each had a single and two RBIs in the inning.
     Grayson Stewart, who pitched a two-hit shutout to win game 1 on Tuesday, had one hit and scored two runs in game three. He was named the Class 3A State Championship Series MVP.
     Piedmont (36-10), which set a school record for wins in a season in 2019, collected seven hits with lead-off hitter T.J. Fairs collecting two hits, scored  two runs and had one RBI. Starting pitcher Bryce Walter, who pitched two shutout innings before reaching his pitch-count limit for the day, also had two hits and drove in two runs. DH Nick Johnson had a single and RBI. He and Fairs each had a hit and RBI to account both runs for Bulldogs, coached by Matt Deerman, in the second inning. Fairs scored the run in the first leading off with a walk, moved to third on a throwing error and scored on a wild pitch. Fairs ignited the fifth-inning rally with an infield single. Mason Mohon plated him with a single Walter singled to left to plate Piedmont’s final two runs.
     Piedmont used five pitchers in the third game yielding seven walks and hitting six batters. Providence Christian hit two giving both team a combined eight in the contest.
      All games in the 2019 Baseball Championships are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network’s subscriber-based platform. Information can be found at
www.nfhsnetwork.com.
       The Class 2A Championship series featuring defending 2A state champ G.W. Long and Westbrook Christian, got underway at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Paterson Field. The Class 4A Championship Series between Brooks and Sipsey Valley will play game one at 7 p.m.

Game 2: Piedmont 5, Providence Christian 4 (9 innings)
    MONTGOMERY – Piedmont second baseman Brent Deerman singled to right in the bottom of the ninth inning to plate Austin Estes with the winning run as the Bulldogs (36-9) forced a third game in the Class 3A State Baseball Championship Series at Riverwalk Stadium Wednesday.
    Mason Mahon hurled 3 2/3 scoreless innings in relief to get the win for Coach Matt Dearman to get the win. He allowed two hits, walked three and struck out two. Starter Bryce Walter pitched the first 5 1/3 innings, gave up six hits, four runs and struck out six.
      Brayden Banner hurled seven innings for Coach Casey Smith’s Eagles, scattering seven hits, four runs, walked one and also struck out six.  Reliever Will Solomon got the loss.
      Piedmont took an early 3-0 thanks to timely hitting from T.J. Fairs, Mason Mohon, Sean Smith, Jack Hayes and Nick Johnson. Mohon ripped a triple, scored twice and had one RBI. Hayes and Fairs had a double each and Fairs had the sacrifice bunt that moved Estes into scoring position in the ninth before Deerman’s game-winning hit.
     Providence cut the lead to 3-1 with a run in the top of the third and plated three runs in the top of the sixth.  Eagles center fielder David Warren, who had two hits, made the defensive play of the game by running down Piedmont first baseman Sean Smith’s towering blast to left center with the winning run in scoring position that was grabbed at the warning track to end the bottom of the seventh.
    Cole Smith had three hits for Providence Christian. Mohon, Smith and Hayes had two hits each for Piedmont.

 


AHSAA State Baseball Championships Class 3A State Baseball Championship Series Game 2: Piedmont 5, Providence Christian 4 (9 innings)

    MONTGOMERY – Piedmont second baseman Brent Deerman singled to right in the bottom of the ninth inning to plate Austin Estes with the winning run as the Bulldogs (36-9) forced a third game in the Class 3A State Baseball Championship Series at Riverwalk Stadium Wednesday.
     Providence Christian (29-9) won game one on Tuesday night 4-0. The deciding Game 3 was to be played immediately following Game 2.
    Mason Mahon hurled 3 2/3 scoreless innings in relief to get the win for Coach Matt Dearman to get the win. He allowed two hits, walked three and struck out two. Starter Bryce Walter pitched the first 5 1/3 innings, gave up six hits, four runs and struck out six.
      Brayden Banner hurled seven innings for Coach Casey Smith’s Eagles, scattering seven hits, four runs, walked one and also struck out six.  Reliever Will Solomon got the loss.
      Piedmont took an early 3-0 thanks to timely hitting from T.J. Fairs, Mason Mohon, Sean Smith, Jack Hayes and Nick Johnson. Mohon ripped a triple, scored twice and had one RBI. Hayes and Fairs had a double each and Fairs had the sacrifice bunt that moved Estes into scoring position in the ninth before Deerman’s game-winning hit.
     Providence cut the lead to 3-1 with a run in the top of the third and plated three runs in the top of the sixth.  Eagles center fielder David Warren, who had two hits, made the defensive play of the game by running down Piedmont first baseman Sean Smith’s towering blast to left center with the winning run in scoring position that was grabbed at the warning track to end the bottom of the seventh.
    Cole Smith had three hits for Providence Christian. Mohon, Smith and Hayes had two hits each for Piedmont.
       All games in the 2019 Baseball Championships are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network’s subscriber-based platform. Information can be found at
www.nfhsnetwork.com.
       The Class 2A Championship series featuring defending 2A state champ G.W. Long and Westbrook Christian, gets underway at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Paterson Field. The Class 4A Championship Series between Brooks and Sipsey Valley will play game one at 7 p.m.


Class 3A State Baseball Championship Series Game 1: Providence Christian 4, Piedmont 0

AHSAA State Baseball Championships

    MONTGOMERY – Providence Christian scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning Tuesday night and junior pitcher Grayson Stewart did the rest as the Eagles downed Piedmont 40 to take a 1-0 advantage in the best 2-of-3 Class 3A State Baseball Championship Series at Paterson Field. 
     The two teams meet again Wednesday morning at 10 a.m., in game 2 at Riverwalk Stadium – with game three to follow immediately if needed.  The 2019 AHSAA State Baseball Championships open the Class 2A and Class 4A championship series at Paterson Field Wednesday night. Defending state champion G.W. Long (32-6) meets Westbrook Christian (23-12) at 4 p.m., in  Class 2A, and Brooks (25-8) faces Sipsey Valley (20-15) in the first  game of the 4A series at 7. Mars Hill Bible swept Brantley with its 13-2 win Tuesday morning to claim the Class 1A state  title at Riverwalk Stadium.
     All games in the 2019 Baseball Championships are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network’s subscriber-based platform. Information can be found at www.nfhsnetwork.com.
     Coach Casey Smith’s Eagles (29-8) got a very strong pitching performance from Stewart, who allowed just two hits, walked none and struck out nine to get the win. Logan Pruitt pitched well for Coach Matt Deerman’s Bulldogs 35-9). He allowed six hits, one earned run and struck out four in a complete-game effort.
     Center  fielder David Warren beat out an infield hit to open the bottom of the first for Providence. He scored on an error. With two  runners in scoring position, right fielder Brayden Banner singled in two more runs to give the Eagles a 3-0 lead. Banner picked up his third RBI with a fielder’s choice in the third to make it 4-0.
     Piedmont center fielder and lead-off batter T.J. Fairs collected both hits for the Bulldogs socking two doubles.


Class 1A State Baseball Championship Series Game 2: Mars Hill Bible 13, Brantley 2 (Mars Hill Bible Wins Series 2-0)

AHSAA State Baseball Championships

    MONTGOMERY – Mars Hill Bible came out swinging in game two of the AHSAA 2019 Class1A State Baseball Championship Series Tuesday at Riverwalk Stadium to down Brantley 13-2 to sweep the state title.
     The Panthers (34-6) scored four runs in the top of the first inning on three hits and six in the top of the fourth on six hits to coast to the Panthers’ fifth state baseball championship overall and their first since winning the 2A title in 2012.
       The 64th AHSAA State Baseball Championships continue with the Class 3A Championship Series getting underway at Paterson Field at 6 p.m. Providence Christian (28-8) and Piedmont (35-8) will play game 1 at Paterson Field and will move to Riverwalk Stadium Wednesday morning at 10 a.m., for game 2 and if necessary, game 3 to follow.
      All games in the 2019 Baseball Championships are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network’s subscriber-based platform. Information can be found at www.nfhsnetwork.com.
     Coach Jay Mitchell’s team also gave Mars Hill a sweep of the baseball and football titles. The Panthers rolled to the Class 1A state football championship last December.
     The Panthers totaled 14 hits in the Tuesday’s game with Class 1A state finals MVP Brooks Thompson, a senior first baseman who came into the finals hitting .370 on the year, was 2-for-3 Tuesday, scored twice and finished the two-game series 4-for-6 with two RBIs.
     Sam Ragan got the bats going in the first inning with a lead-off double off starting pitcher Jake Kilcrease. He scored on a single by Collin Huntley and Kyler Murks completed the rally with a two-run single. Murks finished 2-for-2 with three RBIs.
    Brantley got two runs back in the bottom of the first inning off Mars Hill starter Colt Smith. The Bulldogs’ lead-off hitter Jake Kilcrease singled to open the bottom of the inning, and Parker Odom tripled to right four batters later to drive in two runs.
   Walker White came in to pitch in the second inning for Mars Hill and went 3 2/3 innings allowing just one hit and two batters to reach first in a masterful relief appearance to get the win. Will Potts came in to get the last out in the bottom of  the  fifth inning for the Panthers.
     Ragan singled to start the six-run rally for Mars Hill in the top of the fourth. Smith and Peyton Higgins had RBI singles and Josh Bowerman had the big hit driving in two runs with a triple.
     Six of Mars Hill Bible’s starters collected two hits or more with Bowerman and Murks finishing with two hits and three RBIs each. Higgins had three hits and two RBIs, and Huntley had two hits and two RBIs.
    Dunn had two of Brantley’s four hits. Coach Andrew Brook’s Bulldogs (29-10) were led by Dunn’s two hits. The Bulldogs won the 1A state baseball title in 2009 and followed the next fall by capturing the Class 1A state football crown.
    The Class 2A and 4A Championship Series also get underway Wednesday afternoon at Paterson Field with defending Class 2A state champion G.W. Long (32-6) and Westbrook Christian (23-12) playing game 1 at 4 p.m. Brooks (25-8) and Sipsey Valley (15-12) open the 4A  Championship Series at 7 p.m.


 


Class 1A State Baseball Championship Series Game 1: Mars Hill Bible 4, Brantley 3

    MONTGOMERY – Mars Hill Bible scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning on a wild pitch allowing catcher Collin Huntley to score from third and the Panthers grabbed a 4-3 victory over Brantley to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-3 AHSAA Class 1A State Baseball Championship Series Monday night.
    The Panthers (31-6) and Bulldogs (29-9) opened the 64th AHSAA State Baseball Championships at Paterson Field. Game 2 in the series moves to Riverwalk Stadium Tuesday at 10 a.m. with game three, if needed, to follow immediately. The Class 3A Championship Series between Providence Christian 28-8) and Piedmont (35-8) will get underway with Game 1 at Paterson Field Tuesday night at 6 p.m.
    All games in the 2019 Baseball Championships are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network’s subscriber-based platform. Information can be found at www.nfhsnetwork.com.
    Huntley led off the bottom of the seventh inning with the game tied at 3-3 and socked triple off starter and losing pitcher Parker Odom. The Bulldogs intentionally walked Colt Smith and Brooks Thompson to load the bases before Odom got Peyton Higgins to line out to center. With Josh Bowerman at the plate, Odom’s next pitch was wide allowing Huntley to score from third with the winning run.
   Mars Hill took a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning when Thompson doubled in a run and scored on Higgins’ single.  Brantley pecked away with a run in the top of the second and third off Mars Hill starter Bowerman to knot the score at 2-2. Pinch runner Morell Edwards scored from third on Carson Jones’ infield out for the first run. The next run came on a bases-loaded walk by Bowerman to Samuel Tompkins plated Tucker Kilcrease, who opened the inning with a walk.
    The Panthers of Coach Jay Mitchell took the lead 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth when Smith opened with a triple and scored Thompson singled him in. Brantley, coached by Austin Brook, struck quickly in the top of the sixth when Jake Kilcrease ripped a two-out single, stole second and scored on Greyson Layton’s single.
    Smith, the fourth Mars Hill pitcher inserted by Mitchell, pitched the final 1 1/3 innings to get the win in relief. He allowed one hit and struck out one – but more importantly pitched the Panthers out of the jam in the top of the sixth.  Starter Bowerman hurled 5 2/3 innings allowing six hits and striking out two.
   Brantley’s Odom pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowed seven hits, two earned runs and struck out seven in the loss.
   Mars Hill’s Thompson  had two hits and  two RBIs to pace the Panthers’ seven hits. Second baseman Kyler Murks also had two hits including a double. Lead-off hitter Jake Kilcrease had three hits and Layton had two to pace the Bulldogs’ eight-hit attack.


Loachapoka Pitcher Whiffs 21 in Indians’ Win to Tie AHSAA State Baseball Record for Strikeouts

AHSAA Baseball Spotlight

    MONTGOMERY -- Left-handed junior pitcher Jesus Criollo closed out Loachapoka High School’s 2019 baseball season last week by tying the AHSAA state record for strikeouts in a seven-inning game as he whiffed 21 in an 8-7 win over arch-rival Notasulga.
   The win was the only victory of the season for the Indians, who started baseball back two years ago after discontinuing the spring sport.  Criollo allowed two hits, walked four.  One Blue Devils batter lined out to second and one of Criollo’s strikeout victims reached base safely on a third-strike passed ball.
    Criollo joined a very exclusive club of just three other AHSAA pitchers to have 21 strikeouts in a seven-inning game. The last reported with 21 strikeouts was Cody Reed of Ardmore, who whiffed 21 versus Elkmont in a 5-0 win in 2014. Reed was drafted in the second round of the MLB Draft that summer and is now assigned to the Visalia Rawhide in the Class A California League. He currently on the disabled list.
    Trey Vice of Westbrook Christian hurled a no-hitter and struck out 21 to beat Fultondale in the 2007 season, and Opelika’s Roy Jackson fanned 21 in a 12-4 win over Benjamin Russell in a 1971 game. Jackson also had five strikeouts in the fifth inning of that performance.
     “It was an amazing effort,” said Loachapoka baseball coach Jeff Klein, who just completed his second season as head coach.  “He is a left-hander with a good future ahead of him. We have a very young program in a sport where our kids have very little of experience coming in. We’re trying to build the baseball program, and Jesus’ pitching performance was a great way to end the season. We have a long way to go here but we are working to give our kids more experience playing in the summer.”
     Loachapoka finished the season 1-8 and was 3-11 in 2018. The seven runs allowed were the fewest allowed all season. Opponents scored no fewer than 13 in the other contests.   
     “I remind myself to be patient. We started the season with 18 kids and ended with 10. It is frustrating but we are committed to developing this program into one that can be competitive. We’re working hard and are going to get there if we can just stay on course.”
     Seven pitchers are in the AHSAA Record Book with 20 strikeouts in a seven-inning game, including Reed, who beat Saint John Paul II Catholic 1-0 with a one-hitter in 2013. Isabella’s Harold Lockhart made the list with an AHSAA state-record 20 consecutive strikeouts in a 1-0 loss to Verbena in 1951. The 20th strikeout victim reached base on a passed ball and came around to score on a throwing error during the attempt to throw him out running to first base. It ended what had been a perfect game for Lockhart at that point.
      The AHSAA record for strikeouts in a game was set in 1926 when Fred Sington of Birmingham Phillips struck out all the outs (27) in a nine-inning 10-2 win over Jefferson County (Tarrant). Sington, a prominent businessman who was a key founder of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1955.

      An All-America tackle at the University of Alabama from 1928-30, he was named to the Associated Press Southeast Area All-Time football team from 1920-1969. He earned the moniker “Football Freddie” after crooner Rudy Vallee wrote a song about him following the Crimson Tide’s 1930 National Championship season and it became a nationwide hit. Sington reached the majors as an outfielder playing seven years with the Washington Senators and Brooklyn Dodgers. He also served in World War II as Lieutenant Commander and then served as a Southeastern Conference football official for more than 25 years.
      Nick Mickler of Ragland whiffed 23 in a nine-inning 3-1 win over Donoho in 2000 – a game that registered an AHSAA state-record 38 strikeouts by both teams.  Notasulga used two pitchers to strike out 15 Loachapoka batters in last week’s 8-7 contest to give both teams 36 – which is second highest of all time behind the Ragland-Donoho effort 19 years earlier.
     Mortimer Jordan’s Zac Blakney also had 21 strikeouts in a 10-inning, 1-0 loss to Walker in 2004. He hurled the first nine innings and the Vikings won the game in the next frame – making him the only pitcher in AHSAA history to strike out 21 and not receive the win or loss decision. Woodville’s Justin Maynard had 21 strikeouts in a 10-inning, 2-1 win over Valley Head in 2006, and James “Eddie” Gordon of Marshall County High School (Guntersville) struck out 26 in an 11-inning, 1-0 victory over Arab in 1953. That game was won in the bottom of the 11th when Frank Wedgeworth ended the game with a rousing solo home run.
     Another Guntersville hurler, Evan Holland, set the record for most strikeouts in an inning in 2012 with six in the fourth inning of a 14-3 win over DAR. Opelika’s Jackson (1971) and Mortimer Jordan’s Pat Allison (2002) also had five strikeouts in a single inning.


Vestavia Hills’ Colton Lewis Ignites Rebels’ Fire at the Right Time

AHSAA Baseball Spotlight

MONTGOMERY – Vestavia Hills senior Colton Lewis collected four hits in seven at bats for the Rebels and clubbed two home runs to pace red-hot Vestavia Hills into the limelight of the AHSAA Baseball Spotlight this week.
    Lewis had
four RBIs and two runs in two wins over Mountain Brook for the Rebels.  Teammate Grant Cacace added a two-run inside-the-park home run in an 8-4 win over Mountain Brook. He finished 5-for-8 for the week with four RBIs. Lewis, a Jacksonville State commitment, also got the mound win over Mountain Brook tossing a four-hitter and striking out 10. Vestavia got the sweep with a 9-2 win in the first game of the series.
   
“Our guys are really selling out to our approach,” Vestavia Hills coach Jamie Harris told Al.com reporter Evan Dudley. “We’re getting hot at the right time, and we’ve pitched and played defense all year. If we hit like this we’ll be tough to beat.”
  Garrison Cherry hurled a four-hitter and struck out five in the 9-2 win. He also retired 14 straight batters during one stretch between the third and seventh innings. The Rebels pounded 13 hits overall.
   Vestavia Hills, under the direction of legendary Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame Coach Sammy Dunn, gleaned national attention winning nine Class 6A state titles in the AHSAA over a 10-year period from 1991-2000. In that stretch were seven championships in a row and one undefeated team (1998) and a national championship. Dunn, who became an inspiration to coaches, players and fans across the nation with his valiant battle versus cancer, passed away in 2003.
    The Rebels’ last state title came in 2000. Since the 12 different schools have won the AHSAA’s biggest-class state baseball crown in the 18-year span. Auburn, the 2018 state 7A champ, has won three, Hoover, Pelham, Baker and Daphne have won two each. Clay-Chalkville, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa, Huntsville, Oxford, Spain Park, Smiths Station and Hewitt-Trussville have won one each.
    The Rebels (25-7) are tied with Hewitt-Trussville (28-6) at 4-1 in Class 7A, Area 6 with one game remaining with Spain Park April 18. The Huskies have one game remaining with Mountain Brook (Apr. 17). Both teams have clinched a berth in the state playoffs but must await the conclusion of both games to resolve the area champion. Hewitt and Vestavia split their two area games this season.
    In other highlights reported this week.

PITCHING
SAM MALONE, BAYSHORE CHRISTIAN:
Threw the Eagles’ first AHSAA no-hitter as Bayshore defeated Elberta 3-0. He struck out eight in seven innings.
JACKSON KIMBRELL, OAK MOUNTAIN: Pitched a one-hit shutout to beat Hoover 1-0. He struck out 10.
LANDON MURA, J.U. BLACKSHER: Hurled a complete-game two-hit shutout and struck out seven in a 5-0 win over Cottage Hill Christian.
HUNTER REDDING, MOBILE CHRISTIAN: Tossed a five-inning perfect game to Beat W.S. Neal 17-0. He faced the minimum 15 batters, struck out four and threw only 10 pitches (balls) out of the strike zone. He also collected two hits and four RBIs. Redding slugged  three-run homer in the second game, an 11-0 win by MC.
NOAH WATKINS, LEE-HUNTSVILLE: Allowed two hits and one run while striking out 15 in a 10-1 win over Mae Jemison.
TYLER CRUSE, LEXINGTON: Pitched a no-hitter and struck out 11 as the Bears beat Clements 11-0 to clinch the Class 3A, Area 16 championship.
BRYCEN PARRISH, WILSON: Whiffed 12 in a two-hit pitching performance as the Warriors downed Rogers 7-1.

BATTING
JORDAN BECK, HAZEL GREEN: Had three-run homer in the Trojans’ 14-1 win over Buckhorn, added a solo homer in a 3-1 loss to the Bucks and was 4-for-5 with two home runs and six RBIs in a 13-5 victory over Decatur – giving him four round trippers for the week.
JOHN RICE, UMS-WRIGHT: Drilled an RBI single in the seventh inning to tie the game against Enterprise and then delivered the game-winning hit in the ninth inning when he singled to plate the winning run. He finished with three hits.
NATHAN LARUE, McGILL-TOOLEN CATHOLIC: Slugged a pair of two-run homers to help the Jackets bounce back from a game one loss to win games two and three in the series with Foley. He had three hits and three RBIs in game two’s 12-1 win.
CONNER HEGAN, SPANISH FORT: Had a home run and finished with five RBIs as the Toros beat Baldwin County 13-2.
EVAN KOOB, GRISSOM: Had a homer, double and four RBIs in the Tigers’ 7-5 win over Lincoln County (TN).
PRESLEY HOLLAND, ROBERTSDALE: Doubled in the bottom of the seventh inning to drive in the winning run in a 4-3 win over Daphne.
COLTON CARVER, BOB JONES: Had a two-out single in the last inning to drive in the winning run as the Patriots beat Florence 8-7. He was 2-for-4 with a double in three RBIs overall. In the second game versus the Falcons, he had two doubles and three RVIs in the 11-1 win.
MATT DAILEY, HUNTSVILLE: Had four hits, including two doubles, in a 13-6 game-two win over Sparkman, and also pitched five innings, allowed one run and struck out seven in a 3-2 win over the Senators in the first game.
RYAN PAGE, ENTERPRISE:
Homered to lead off the bottom of the eighth inning to deliver the game-ending walk-off blast as the Wildcats nipped Prattville 4-3.
JACKSON KELLEY, CARROLL: Had three hits, scored twice and drove in two runs as the Eagles beat Ashford 8-4. He also got the win striking out 10 and scattering six hits over six innings.
TY McLEAN, DONOHO: Was 4-for-4 and teammate Hall Billings drove in five runs in the Falcons’ 16-7 win over Saks.
LAWSON MOLDEN, MUNFORD: Helped the Lions snap a nine-game losing streak by collecting five hits in a double-header sweep of Moody (8-3) and Pell City (11-1). Munford collected 27 hits on the day with Molden driving in four runs in the two wins.


McGill-Toolen Baseball Team is at their Best When Senior Chandler Best is on the Mound

AHSAA Baseball Spotlight

MONTGOMERY -- McGill-Toolen Catholic High School hurler Chandler Best registered the 30th win of his prep career with a five-inning one-hitter to beat Fairhope 10-0 and moved into the AHSAA Baseball Spotlight for this week in the process.
     Best, a Southern Miss signee, is now 30-1 for his career and 5-0 on the season. He  struck out nine and homered in Game 1 of the doubleheader sweep and teammate Nathan LaRue, an Auburn signee, homered to highlight the game two 3-1 win. Luke Williams and Spencer Hadley also homered in the first game for the Yellow Jackets. |
      Best has 78 strikeouts in 44 innings this season with just 11 walks. He career totals after the win included 272 strikeouts in 202 inning pitched. His only loss was to Fairhope 2-1 last year.
       “Chandler just exudes confidence on the mound,” McGill-Toolen head coach Tim Becker told Al.com reporter Ben Thomas. “The whole team plays with a different demeanor when he is out there, a different confidence. I think it kind of encourages him when those guys come out,” Becker said. “I think he likes it. But Chandler comes to pitch every day. He is focused and on every time he takes the mound. It is one of the things I really admire about him.”
    In other highlights reported this week:

PITCHING
BRADY JAMES, OPP: Hurled a one-hitter and struck out five as the Bobcats downed Straughn 6-0. He faced just 23 batters in the seven-inning game as Opp (14-7) recorded its 10th straight win.
COLE CHEATHIAM, DANVILLE: Pitched his second no-hitter of the season as the Hawks blanked Priceville 50. He threw just 81 pitches, 50 for strikes, struck out nine and walked three.
WILLIAM THOMAS, NEW HOPE: Hurled a five-inning perfect game no-hitter as New Hope beat Brindlee Mountain 21-0.  He faced just 15 batters and recorded 12 strikeouts. Teammate Dominic Banas allowed only one hit and whiffed 14 in a one-hit 13-0 shutout win in game two. He also had a triple and double and drove in four runs.
MICHAEL FOWLER, HEWITT-TRUSSVILLE: Tossed a one-hitter and struck out 13 to shut out Vestavia Hills.

A.J. CAUSEY, SPARKMAN: Pitched a five-inning no-hitter to beat Grissom 11-1. He struck out eight. Offensively, he slugged two home runs and finished with three hits overall.
DEVIN GOOCH, ROGERS: Tossed a complete-game 5-1 win to beat Central-Florence. He struck out 13. Ben Hartzog clubbed a triple to plate two runs and Remington Bradley doubled and had two RBIs for the Pirates.
HUNTER McGRIFF, HAZEL GREEN: Tossed a five-I inning no-hitter and whiffed13 as the defending Class 6A state champion Trojans beat Lee-Huntsville 15-0.
LUKE DANIEL, WILSON: Allowed no hits and struck out 10 in 6 2/3 innings as the Warriors downed Deshler 9-3. He walked eight. He also had two singles and two RBIs at the plate.
CADE ABERNATHY, ATHENS BBILE: Hurled a one-hit shutout to beat St. Bernard 13-0. He struck out 13 in the win.
RHETT LEMAY, PRICEVILLE: Pitched a two-hitter in Priceville’s 9-1 win over Danville, striking out 10.


HITTING
GREYSON LAYTON, BRANTLEY: Had a home run, three RBIs and scored three runs in a 12-11 win over Class 5A Charles Henderson. The victory was the Bulldogs’ ninth in a row.
JORDAN WHITLOE, REELTOWN: Had six RBIs in a 23-1 win over Coosa Central – smashing two two-run doubles, an RBI single and sacrifice fly. The Rebels won game one of the doubleheader 5-3.
B.J. BRADAM, SPARKMAN: Helped the Senators overcome a seven-run outburst in the top of the seventh inning by Grissom to take an 9-8 lead by slugging a game-ending grand slam homer in the bottom of the seventh to seal a 12-9 win.
GAVIN HOLDEN, ROGERS: Homered twice, including a grand slam, and totaled six RBIs in a 9-1 win over Lexington.
BRYANT RUSHING, LUVERNE: Had four hits, three runs scored and four RBIs as the Tigers downed Zion Chapel 17-1.
CAM HILL, BOB JONES: Was 3-for-3 with a two-run homer and pitched six shutout innings to get the mound win in a 6-0 win over Austin in game one of a twinbill sweep. He added a home run, double and two walks and drove in four runs in game two’s 19-9 win.
DERRICK JACKSON, BUCKHORN: Poked a grand slam to lead the Bucks to a 14-0 win over Maw Jemison.
BRANTLEY HOLDEN, FLORENCE: Singled in the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Falcons an 8-7 win over James Clemens in the second game of a double-header sweep over the Jets. He also had two hits and scored twice in a 5-3 win in game one. Teammate Zeke Bishop had a single and three RBIs for the big hit in a three-run fifth-inning rally.
PEYTON WILSON, HOOVER: Had nine hits, including two doubles and two triples, and also stole three bases in five games. He also had the game-winning hit to drive in the winning run in the eighth inning to lift the Bucs past Austin.
JAKE HOLIFIELD, ST. PAUL’S EPISCOPAL: Had two hits and two RBIs as the Saints rallied in the top of the seventh inning to score twice to nip UMS-Wright 5-4. He also pitched the final inning to get the save.
BREYDON EMONDSON, THOMPSON: Collected nine hits in 15 at bats with two doubles, two home runs, three RBIs and five runs in five games.
CARTER SAMPLE, DECATUR HERITAGE: Had a home run and drove in four runs in the Eagles’ 11-3 win over East Lawrence. He also picked up the mound win with six strikeouts over six innings.
JOHN ROBERT AUSTIN, HOLY SPIRIT CATHIOLIC: The junior slugged his first grand-slam home run and finished with five RBIS as the Titans beat South Lamar 13-3. The homer came in a nine-run first inning for Holy Spirit.
GARY WILLIAMS, AMERICAN CHRISTIAN: Had three hits and five RBIs in a 12-0 win over Northside.
JADEN PAGE, BUCKHORN: Collected three doubles to spark a 13-6 win over Deshler.

Jack Knight, Bayside Academy: Pitched a complete game, allowing one run over seven innings, as Bayside Academy defeated St. Michael 7-1 in Class 3A, Area 1 action. Knight allowed four hits and struck out five. He didn’t walk a batter. He went 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI at the plate. In a 6-5, series-clinching win over St. Michael on Saturday, he had a two-out, two-run single to put his team ahead to stay. He also drew a pair of bases-loaded walks to finish with four RBIs.

Landon Mura, J.U. Blacksher: Pitched a shutout and struck out 17 in Game 1 of a doubleheader sweep of Elberta and homered in the second game. He was 3-for-5 at the plate for the day.

Trenton Brannan, Saraland: Hit a grand slam as the Spartans defeated Faith Academy 10-1 in the third game of their Class 6A, Area 1 championship series to claim the title. Brannan also had two hits and an RBI in a 7-3 Saraland win in Game 2 on Saturday.

Bryce Eddington, St. Luke’s: Earned three wins for the week with 11 innings pitched, 20 strikeouts, two walks and no runs allowed. Also went 11-of-20 at the plate with five doubles, seven RBIs and three stolen bases.


Wilson Ace Luke Daniel Strikes ‘Em All Out’ at Least Once to Notch Key 5-0 Win

AHSAA Baseball Spotlight

   MONTGOMERY – Wilson High School junior right-handed pitcher Luke Daniel’s 91-mile-per-hour fastball was working well – as were the other pitches in his arsenal last week as he pitched the Warriors to a 5-0 win over St. Paul’s Episcopal.
     Daniel allowed only three hits and struck out 17 in the strong Saints lineup to grab this week’s AHSAA Baseball Spotlight. Coach Warren Fowler’s ace hurler struck out every batter in the Saints lineup at least once, including the first seven batters twice each. Offensively Daniel, already verbally committed to Auburn, collected two doubles and an RBI. Teammate Conner Wynn had two doubles among his three hits.
     The Wilson pitcher’s performance edged out some other outstanding pitching efforts for the Prep Spotlight as many schools participated in Spring Break competition while others squared off in key area games.
     McGill-Toolen Catholic’s Chandler Best pitched a one-hitter and struck out 16 as the Jackets beat Gordonsville (TN). The Southern Miss signee walked just one and contributed two hits and an RBI at the plate. McGill-Toolen won three games in the Gulf Coast Classic II. Nathan Giles of defending Class 6A state champion Hazel Green hurled a five-inning perfect game and struck out 12 in a 10-0 win over Mae Jemison in the second game of a double-header sweep. Hunter McGriff tossed a no-hitter in the first game, a 27-0 win over the Jaguars, and struck out 12. He walked two.
    And Oxford ace Jarin Turner blanked Fort Payne 5-0 on two hits and struck out 15 to clinch a playoff spot in Class 6A. He struck out the first eight batters he faced. Teammate Jake Spivey doubled for the Jackets to extend his hitting streak to nine straight games. He has had 13 hits and 16 RBIs during that stretch.
      In other top performances reported:

FOR THE RECORD BOOK
STRICKLAND SOCKS THREE HOMERS:
Bob Jones slugger Michael Strickland slammed three home runs in a row and drove in eight runs as the Patriots beat defending Indiana Class 6A state champion Fishers High School 23-6.  He had two three-run homers in a nine-run third inning outburst and added a two-run blast in his next at-bat. Bob Jones teammate John-Michael Riley also slugged a grand slam, Dylan Ray added two homers and Cam Hill poked a homer, double and drove in three runs as Bob Jones finished with seven round-trippers. According to the AHSAA Record Book on line at www.ahsaa.com, the AHSAA individual state record for homers in a game is 4 – set by Jacob Mayfield of Westbrook Christian in 2013 and Clayton Payne of Maplesville in 2001. Several have slugged three in one game, the last being Garrett Sanders of St. Clair County in 2016.
    The state record for homers in s game by a team is 11, set by Ragland in a 2000 game versus Parkway Christian. The seven by Bob Jones ties for second with four other schools: Calera in 2008; Russell County in 2006; Thompson in 2001; and St. Paul’s in 2999. The Patriots also set a new school record. Bob Jones had six in a game versus East Limestone in 2018. Strickland also became the first player in the AHSAA to hit three in row since Von Seibert of Spanish Fort tied the state record (4) with four in a row in a double-header versus Robertsdale last season. Three others are listed with hitting four in a row: Mayfield in 2011; Christopher David of Holy Spirit in 2011; and Joe Zanthos of Vestavia Hills in 1997.
TRIPLE PLAY FIRST OF ITS KIND: Umpire Ron Henry reported a rare, maybe even a first of its kind, triple play in Belgreen Junior High School’s 9-8 win over Phillips of Bear Creek last week. Belgreen was batting with the bases loaded in the third inning when the hitter lined to short for the first out. The Phillips infielder quickly fired to third catching the runner before he could get back to the base for the second out, and the runner on second sped to the next base where the third baseman was waiting to tag him for the third out. The 6-5-5 triple play happened very fast was the first of that combination Henry said had ever seen. So he did some research and found: According Baseball Almanac, “Baseball records have been kept ever since 1876 and during that time, no major league triple play has ever been recorded with that 6-5-5 combination,” he said. “Baseball Almanac listed 717 triple plays but none like that.”
BAILEY HARRISON, WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN: Collected three doubles in a 17-12 loss to Ardmore. The three doubles ranks second in a single game in the AHSAA Record Book behind Leroy’s Brent Reed, who had five in a win over Thorsby in 2011. Four others have been reported to have three doubles in a game with the most coming in 2017 when Pell City’s Austin Stephens had an 11-5 win over Clay-Chalkville before Harrison’s three two-baggers.

BEST OF THE REST
HASTON ALEXANDER, COVENANT CHRISTIAN:
Hurled a five-inning no-hitter, walked one and struck out five to beat Hackleburg 13-0 in the first game of a double-header sweep. He also had two RBIs in a 15-6 win in the second game.
CARSON KNIGHT, MUSCLE SHOALS: Hurled a two-hitter and struck out 13 in a five-inning, 15-1 win over White Plains.
LAIN JORDAN, MILLRY: Beat St. Luke’s Episcopal 4-1 allowing five hits, one run while striking out nine. St. Luke’s sophomore Bryce Eddington also pitched a complete game allowing five hits, two earned runs, no walks and striking out five – while throwing just 72 pitches.
KYLE CHASTINE, HILLCREST-TUSCALOOSA: Hurled a three-hit shutout and struck out 11 in a 15-0 win over Brookwood. He also led the Patriots (18-4) on offense with two doubles, a single and four RBIs. Kash Ryan added three hits, including a triple, and four RBIs, and Patrick Hollyhand also had a triple and finished with four RBIs. Hillcrest’s Payte Williams hurled a four-hitter and struck out eight to beat Oxford 8-2.
TUCKER JACKSON, HOUSTON ACADEMY: Hurled a five-inning no-hitter to beat Pike County 16-0. He struck out nine and allowed just one walk. Andrew Tamburin hurled a three-hitter and struck out nine in a 17-1 win to sweep the doubleheader. He had an inside-the-park home run, two doubles and three RBIs.
SAMUEL AND ANDREW DUTTON, WESTBROOK CHRISTIAN: Combined to hurl a no-hitter snapping a five-game losing streak with the 4-0 win. Samuel, a sophomore who walked six and struck out right pitching the first six innings – working out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the fifth after he walked three in a row. He struck out the next batter and got the next Etowah hitter to pop up for the third out.  Andrew hurled the final inning and also singled in Samuel in the first inning for the go-ahead run.
BRADEN CAMERON, HOLY SPIRIT CATHOLIC: Scattered five hits and struck out 12 to beat South Lamar 3-0.
HUNTER BURK, HOKES BLUFF: Was 4-for-4 with six RBIs to lead the Eagles to a 21-2 win over Sardis in the finals of the Etowah County Tourney. The Lions reached the finals versus Hokes Bluff with a dramatic 10-9 victory over Southside-Gadsden in 10 innings when Chase Williams singled with the bases loaded to plate the winning run. Burk also had three hits and two RBIs in a 17-1 semifinal win over West End. Dylan Teague tossed a four-hitter and struck out eight to get the mound win.
GRANT JAY, MOBILE CHRISTIAN: Slugged a pair of homers as Mobile Christian (11-8) went 3-0 over the weekend. He had a three-run homer in an 8-4 victory over Gulfport (MS) and homered and finished with two hits in a 7-6 win over Daphne. The Leopards also beat Wilson 11-1.
PEYTON MOONEY, GERALDINE: Slugged a game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Bulldogs nipped Section 5-4. He finished with two hits and got the mound win in relief.
TANNER DEVANE, HOUSTON ACADEMY: Had three triples in a 17-1, 16-0 double-header sweep of Pike County to finish with four RBIs.
ALEX WADE, MADISON ACADEMY: Had three hits, including two triples, and collected three RBIs in a 12-5 win over West Limestone. Wade also picked up the win in a 6-3 win over the Wildcats – adding two RBIs in the second game.
JOHN RICE, UMS-WRIGHT: Had three hits and RBIs as the Bulldogs blew open a close game with 14 runs in the top of the seventh inning to beat Satsuma 20-5. He also pitched five innings, allowed seven hits and struck out five to get the mound win. Cam Snypes also had four hits and two RBIs for UMS-Wright.
JADEN PAGE, BUCKHORN: Collected three hits, including two doubles, and drove in six runs as the Bucks downed Lee-Huntsville 12-1. Derrick Jackson also had a solo homer.
CHANDLER MOON, MUSCLE SHOALS: Had two doubles and two singles and drove in two runs as the Trojans edged Westbrook Christian 9-8. He also had two hits and four RBIs in a 15-1 win over Whiter Plains.
PARKER WILLINGHAM, DESHLER: Had four hits with a run scored and one RBI to lead the Tigers past Homewood 7-2. He also pitched a one-hitter and struck out 12 to lead Deshler to a 12-1 five-inning win over Eufaula. Teammate Brayden Bucker stroked a grand slam home run in the Eufaula win.
GARRETT GUSTAFSON, HAZEL GREEN: Had three hits with a double and five RBIS in a 27-0 win over Mae Jemison for the defending Class 6A state champion Trojans. RYAN SWEATT, COTTAGE HILL CHRISTIAN: Helped the Warriors extend their winning streak to 10 in a row with five hits in a 7-3, 14-2 sweep of Elberta. He had two hits and an RBI in the first game, pitched the win in game two striking out seven while collecting three hits and three RBIs at the plate.
 TAYLOR THOMPSON, WEAVER: Highlighted a 10-run seventh inning rally with a three-run homer and finished with two hits and four RBIs as the Bearcats beat Pleasant Valley 22-4.
ANDREW TEDFORD, COLBERT HEIGHTS: Had three hits and three RBIs in a 23-1 win over Cherokee. Colbert Heights scored 11 runs in the third inning.
TREY DAUGHTRY, RED BAY: Had three hits and four RBIs in a 10-0 win over Phillips.
CONNOR GEIGER, MADISON COUNTY: Had a double, single and five RBIs in a 16-1 win over St. John Paul II Catholic. Teammate Hunter Vandiver added two singles, two doubles and am RBI.
WILLIAM THOMAS, NEW HOPE: Had three hits and four RBIs and teammate Ethan Pinkerton also had three hits and four RBIs in a 25-0 win over Douglas.
CLAYTON BRINYARD, NORTHSIDE: Had two hits, including an inside-the-park home run, as Northside downed Holt 17-1.
ETHAN JOHNSON, CHEROKEE COUNTY: Had two home runs and pitched the complete-game win as the Warriors downed White Plains 6-5.  Conner Wilson slugged a two-run homer in the fifth inning to snap a 4-4 tie to seal the win.