E.A. Sports Today

Donoho romps to area title

McWilliams fans 12 in complete-game shutout; Piedmont, Alexandria win

By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today

Jesse McWilliams was in complete control Thursday as he scattered two hits and struck out a career-high 12 in leading Donoho to a 10-0 five-inning victory over Jacksonville Christian for the Class 1A Area 12 championship.

The Falcons right-hander, who caught in the series opener Monday, struck out the side in the first and third innings on his way to the win.

“I stuck mostly with fastballs in the game and did not need to use much else,” McWilliams said. “It is great to be Area champions. … We’ve lost it the past two years to Ragland, but it’s good to be back.”

Donoho opened the scoring in the first inning. Dalten Martin singled and scored on what would have been an inside-the-park home run by Justin Foster had the Samford football signee not missed third base on his deep blast to center.

The Thunder appealed the play and took Foster’s run off the board, but Martin’s run counted.

JCA’s Walker Messer pitched two solid innings to start, but things began unravel in the third. He hit Hall Billings and Billings later scored on a sacrifice fly by Trey Brown.

Martin and Parker Morgan singled, Foster walked and McWilliams was hit by a pitch to bring another run home. Bret Holmes doubled home two more runs and it was 5-0.

Martin drove in Brown with a double in the bottom of the fourth and Foster singled home Brown to run the lead to 7-0.

Two hit batsmen, a walk and Seth Ford’s double got home a run as Donoho went ahead 8-0. The Falcons ended the game with two runs on Morgan‘s bases-loaded ground ball to short ended up in right field on a bad throw.

Martin was 3-for-4, while Foster and Ford both went 2-for-3.

“We really had to overcome a bad game against JCA on Monday night, even though we won,” Donoho coach Steve Gendron said. “We came back today and played much better. I am proud of these kids for winning the area. Our team has come such a long way since the beginning of the season.”

Despite being swept, JCA advances to the playoffs as the area runners-up.

Piedmont 13, Weaver 2
Piedmont 7, Weaver 0

WEAVER – Easton Kirk drove in four runs with two doubles and two Piedmont pitchers combined on a two-hit shutout in the nightcap.

Kirk, who has moved in the lineup in recent weeks, knocked in two runs in a four-run first inning. Peyton Whitten also had two hits for the Bulldogs.

Bayley Blanchard pitched the first 6 1-3 innings for the win, allowing two hits and striking out eight. He retired 14 batters in a row at one point in the game.

Dalton Hamby and T.J. Thompson had Weaver’s hits.

The doubleheader sweep allowed the Bulldogs to seal their fourth straight area championship and complete their second straight undefeated season in area play.

Piedmont 7, Weaver 0

Piedmon 400 010 2 — 7 8 1
Weaver 000 000 0 — 0 2 5

BAYLEY BLANCHARD, Tyler Lusk (7) and Derick Baer; JAKE GARRICK and Deon Monroe. 2B: Easton Kirk (P). 3B: Peyton Whitten (P). WP: Blanchard. LP: Garrick.

Alexandria 11, St. Clair County 0

Dalton Cobb and Derrik Turner hit home runs for the third-ranked Valley Cubs.

Cherokee County 3, Sardis 0

Jay Lockridge had two hits and Riley Miller drove in all three runs as Cherokee County secured its playoff berth.


Alexandria 13, Oxford 5

OXFORD — Leighton Sparks homered and drove in four runs and gave up one run over three innings in the circle for the win.

Sparks and Farlow, the top two hitters in Alexandria’s lineup, both drove in four runs. Farlow and Lauren O’Dell both had three hits.


Cleburne County 19, Saks 0
Faith Christian 7, Jefferson Christian 3


Cedar Bluff 16, Jacksonville Christian 0
Jacksonville Christian 15, Winterboro 13

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