E.A. Sports Today

Ohatchee beats rain, Wildcats

Cherry’s two-run single in sixth helps Indians complete rally from early 5-0 deficit

White Plains' Andrew Cronan pitched four strong innings before Ohatchee reached him late in the game. On the cover, Michael Cherry delivered the game-winning hit for the Indians.

White Plains’ Andrew Cronan pitched four strong innings before Ohatchee reached him late in the game. On the cover, Michael Cherry delivered the game-winning hit for the Indians.

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By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

OHATCHEE – Blake Jennings was flashing signals from the third-base coach’s box during his team’s sixth-inning rally Tuesday, but his attention was divided.

He had one eye on the field and one eye on the skies. After every other pitch, it seemed, the Ohatchee baseball coach walked down the line toward the plate and tilted his head to the ominous skies behind the dugout.

It was a race against time. Were the Indians going to push across enough runs to win the game or would they get beat by the rain?

Ultimately, the Indians did get the runs they needed, rallying to beat White Plains and the weather before running out of innings 6-5.

“I kept feeling the sprinkles, thinking please hold off,” Jennings said. “We were just hoping to get a chance, because we’ve got a bunch of guys over there who love to fight, who love to get after it, who love to compete. That’s what we’ve been trying to teach; it’s finally working out for us.”

The Indians scored six runs in their final two bats to erase a 5-0 deficit. Michael Cherry’s two-run single into left field with two outs in the sixth right after a pitching change brought home the go-ahead runs.

Both teams were scheduled to play other teams later in the day. White Plains’ home doubleheader with Munford was postponed before the rain even arrived. Ohatchee started a single game with Saks, but the teams were chased by lightning in the fourth with the Indians leading 7-4; play will resume Wednesday at 4 p.m.

Last Friday, the Indians (3-2) scored two run-rule victories over White Plains, but both coaches expected a much different game and told their teams so before they took the field.

Andrew Cronan checked the Ohatchee bats that hit 13 balls out of the park in batting practice to only one hit through the first four innings with his commanding breaking ball.

The Indians finally reached him in the fifth on Cherry’s bases-loaded single and Jaylon Jenkins’ sacrifice fly. Run-scoring singles by Kevin Williamson and Tristan Woodall chased Cronan in the sixth before Cherry took reliever Taylor Morrow’s fastball to the opposite field for his go-ahead single.

“That’s a senior moment there,” Jennings said. “Last year he led us in batting and will probably do it this year. When we come up with runners at second and third, that’s exactly what we wanted. He’s going to hit it hard somewhere; if they catch it, they catch it.”

They didn’t catch it this time. Not like in last week’s doubleheader against the Wildcats when he went 3-for-8 and seemingly hit every ball right at a White Plains fielder.

“I was confident,” Cherry said. “I knew I was going to get up there and help my team out and do what was needed to get the win. Being a senior I want to have the best season that we can possibly have. … We keep playing like this we’re going to go a long way.”

White Plains (2-4) opened a 3-0 lead after two innings and made it 5-0 in the fifth on RBI singles by Morrow and Jake Spivey. Cronan, Morrow, Andrew Norred and Peyton Morgan all had two hits for the Wildcats. Spivey drove in two runs.

“All the credit goes to Ohatchee,” Wildcats coach Wes Henderson said. “Those kids will fight. We knew that going into it and they stayed in the game. They made a run at us and we didn’t respond to that last run.”

Ohatchee 6, White Plains 5

White Plains 210 020 0 – 5 11 1
Ohatchee 000 024 x – 6 9 1

ANDREW CRONAN, Taylor Morrow (6) and Jake Spivey; Blayde Crump, Jaylon Jenkins (3), CHASE WIDGEON (6), Taylor Eubanks (7) and Jesse Sellers. 2B: Eubanks (O). WP: Widgeon. LP: Cronan. S: Eubanks.

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