E.A. Sports Today

Panthers pounce on Weaver

Wellborn erupts for 20 runs in final game; Langley outduels Saks in opener

Junior Josh Langley kept Weaver in its game with Saks.

Junior Josh Langley kept Weaver in its game with Saks.

By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today

WEAVER – Wellborn’s bats came alive in the final game of the Weaver Spring Break Tournament and the Panthers rolled to a 20-2 win over Class 3A area rival and host Weaver.

The Panthers had scored 13 runs in their first 20 innings of the tournament, but erupted for 19 runs in the first three innings and 20 hits total in the five-inning game Saturday night.

“We are fighters and we do not quit,” Wellborn coach Shane Harrell said. “We played Pleasant Valley and Piedmont in the county and now Wellborn in this tournament, so it gives us all a good look at each other before area play begins.”

Brandt Denham and Blake Hanson had three hits apiece to lead a Wellborn team that had every starter garner at least one hit. Mason Screws, T.J. Scales, Jaylun Kelley, Jordan Montgomery and Kevin Mixon had two hits each.

Kelley was the winning pitcher for the Panthers. He gave up two hits – to T.J.Thompson and Chris Lemon.

Weaver 2, Saks 1

The Bearcats opened the day with a one-run victory.

It was a pitchers’ duel from the start as Weaver threw junior Josh Langley and Saks countered with eighth-grader Jaylon Borders. Langley threw six strong innings before giving way to Cody Ortiz, who closed it out for the save.

“We threw the ball real well for strikes, which is the biggest thing you can ask for,” Weaver coach David Beegle said. “We do not have anybody who throws 85 mph, but we’ve got a lot of guys who can throw strikes. Josh did a great job for us today throwing six innings and only giving up one run. You cannot ask for anything any better.”

The Wildcats scored first. Chance Borders led off the third inning with a walk. Joseph Duke walked and Harley Burgess singled to load the bases. Garrett Lee’s walk put the Wildcats ahead.

The Bearcats got things going in the fifth inning when Tyler Perez singled and Chris Lemon walked. Dalton Hamby singled home the tying run. Jake Garrick was intentionally walked to load the bases and Lemon scored on an infield error.

Hamby led Weaver at the plate with two hits. Borders had two hits for Saks.

Jacksonville 11 Saks 2

Sid Thurmond went 4-for-5 with two RBIs, three stolen bases and two runs. The Golden Eagles took advantage of eight stolen bases and six wild pitches, and scored in every inning but two to coast to victory.

Jacksonville scored first when Thurmond led off with a double. Josh Glass moved him to third with a sacrifice and Thurmond scored on a wild pitch.

Saks tied the game in the bottom of the first when Joseph Duke led off with a single and later scored on a single by Logan Mayne.

The Golden Eagles picked up three runs in the second inning on a double by Colton Clark and singles by Evan Shook, Colin Casey and Thurmond. They stole six bases in the inning.

Jacksonville extended the lead to 5-1 in the fourth when Austin Lackey’s grounder to second scored Casey. Saks scored a run in the bottom of the inning when Mayne led off with a walk, the Golden Eagles threw to the wrong base on a couple of grounders and Mayne eventually scored on a fielder’s choice.

Jacksonville added four runs on three hits in the fifth and two more in the sixth on only one hit. Shook and Casey each had two hits for the Golden Eagles.

Clark got the win on the mound for as he pitched four strong innings allowing only two runs and fanning three. Duke, Morgan Dreyer, Mayne and Chance Borders each had a hit for Saks.

Randolph County 5, Jacksonville 2

Good pitching shut down the Golden Eagles and Randolph County used a four-run fourth to seize control.

Jacksonville bounced back in the bottom of the fourth with two runs on three hits. Blake Morris singled home Tyler Carter and Sid Thurmond got an RBI when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. The Golden Eagles had four hits in the game.

Colin Casey took the loss. He went three innings allowing three runs on three hits.

Randolph County 5, Wellborn 2

It took one trip through the order for Randolph County coach Patrick Prestridge to figure out how to pitch the Panthers and Wellborn wasn’t getting much from there.

The first nine Panthers came up and banged out six hits while swinging at the first pitch and pulling everything.

Prestridge was leading 2-1 in the second when Lane Henderson came on with the top of the order coming up again and bases loaded. Henderson threw nothing but balls on the outside corner and slow curves that kept the Panthers off balance and they could only muster two hits the rest of the way.

Randolph County scored two in the bottom of the first on three hits, but Wellborn tied it at 2-2 when Jaylun Kelley doubled, Blake Hanson singled and Jordan Montgomery singled home a run. Brandt Denham got the other Wellborn run home on a fielder’s choice.


Piedmont 9, Gadsden City 6

GADSDEN — Tyler Lusk, Taylor Hayes and Darnell Jackson each had two hits against seven Gadsden City pitchers and the Bulldogs scored all their runs in the first four innings.

Both teams scored three runs in the first inning, but the Bulldogs broke it open with three in the second on an error, a balk and Lusk’s RBI single.

Payton Young returned to the Bulldogs lineup as designated hitter after missing several games with a hamstring injury. He delivered an RBI single in his first at-bat back.

Starter Peyton Whitten was credited with the win despite going only two innings. He struck out five, including the side in order in the second. Three Piedmont pitchers gave up only four hits.


Piedmont 9, Gadsden City 6
Piedmont 332 100 0 — 9 10 3
Gadsden City 300 030 0 — 6 4 2

PEYTON WHITTEN, Taylor Hayes (3), Tyler Lusk (6) and Derick Baer; Nicholas Warsham, BRANDON MATTHEWS (2), Reid Gladden (3), Justin Kelley (4), John Cross (5), Nolan Boatner (6), David Collins (7) and Collins, Trace Cromer (7). 2B: Taylor Hayes (P), Darnell Jackson (P). 3B: Peyton Whitten (P). HR: Brandon Matthews (GC). WP: Whitten. LP: Matthews.

Ohatchee 14, Pleasant Valley 3
Ohatchee 9, Pleasant Valley 6

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