E.A. Sports Today

Pitching rules

Pitching rules County Tournament this day — a near no-hitter, a one-hitter and three shutouts

The Ohatchee Indians celebrate after rallying to solve Colin Casey (cover) in the seventh and beat Jacksonville in the County Tournament. (Photos by Casey Howell)

The Ohatchee Indians celebrate after rallying to solve Colin Casey (cover) in the seventh and beat Jacksonville in the County Tournament. (Photos by Casey Howell)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE — Pitching was the order of the day in Saturday’s second round of the Calhoun County Baseball Tournament.

In the four games at Henry Farm Park there was a no-hitter taken into the seventh inning, a one-hitter and three shutouts.

Oxford’s Brody Syer threw a one-hitter with 12 strikeouts as the top-seeded Yellow Jackets blanked Wellborn 10-0. Ohatchee spoiled a near gem by Jacksonville’s Colin Casey by breaking up the no-hitter in a three-run seventh that produced a 3-2 win. Piedmont run-ruled Weaver 10-0 and second-seeded Alexandria blanked Pleasant Valley 8-0.

“That’s what it’s all about now,” Alexandria coach Andy Shaw said. “These bats have really changed the game; there’s a lot more strategy to it. We were around the plate today and played defense behind it; that’s what we try to do.”

Syer struck out eight consecutive batters at one stretch in the final game of the night. The only hit he allowed was a scratch single by Jordan Montgomery in the second inning and he walked one. He retired the last 11 batters after Montgomery’s single (and he was later thrown out trying to steal third, effectively retiring 15 in a row), and faced two over the minimum.

The first two Panthers he faced reached on a dropped third strike and a walk, but then he gave nothing. He threw 15 pitches to the first three batters, then 53 the rest of the five-inning game.

“You can’t get down on yourself and think I’ve screwed up or something; you’ve just got to keep going,” Syer said. “I have a lot of support and when you have a lot of support you just have to stay disciplined.”

Casey retired the first 12 batters he faced as it took Ohatchee a while to adjust to a harder thrower than it had seen the night before. He struck out 14 in the game and faced only two over the minimum when he took a 1-0 lead into the seventh.

Jaylon Jenkins broke up the no-hitter with a flare single to left. The Indians loaded the bases with two walks, then Kevin Williamson hit a two-run double to give them the lead. They scored a third run on Chase Widgeon’s sacrifice fly.

Jacksonville got one of the runs back in the seventh but Blayde Crump prevented further damage. Crump and Ohatchee starter Taylor Eubanks weren’t bad on the mound, either; they held Jacksonville to five hits and struck out eight.

“We hit him opening night when he wasn’t himself,” Ohatchee coach Blake Jennings said. “But last year he shut us down, too, and he threw an outstanding game tonight. He just got left in there probably one inning too long.”

The win helped move the improving Indians’ program into the bloc of upper tier baseball teams in Calhoun County, ruled by Oxford, Alexandria, Piedmont and Jacksonville.

“It’s just because of how our boys have been working; they work hard at practice and they love the game,” Jennings said. “It has made a little bit of a difference.

“We want people to respect us. We know as coaches that we’re trying to do what’s right to get us to that point and it’s finally paying off, all the hard work. We’ve got a chance to win a lot of games this year, but we’ve got a chance to be pretty decent for a few years in a row.”

Piedmont’s Caleb Morrow and Taylor Hayes held Weaver to three hits and struck out nine.

Alexandria’s Taylor Shaddix and Austin Goode held PV to two hits. The outing was “pretty special” for Shaddix who was making his first pitching appearance against the school he said he attended from kindergarten to the ninth grade.

“I was excited about it,” Shaddix said. “I was at their game and saw them win last night … and I wanted to come out and do good. I wanted to do the best I could.”

Oxford left-hander Brody Syer delivers a pitch during his one-hit shutout of Wellborn Saturday.

Oxford left-hander Brody Syer delivers a pitch during his one-hit shutout of Wellborn Saturday.

Saturday’s Tournament Linescores

Ohatchee 3, Jacksonville 2

Ohatchee 000 003 0 — 3 2 0
Jacksonville 000 100 1 — 2 5 0

Taylor Eubanks, Blayde Crump (5) and Jesse Sellers; Colin Casey and Blake Morris. 2B: Kevin Williamson (O), Colin Casey (J). RBI: Kevin Williamson (O) 2, Chase Widgeon (O), Austin Lackey (J), Colin Casey (J). WP: Blayde Crump. LP: Colin Casey.

Piedmont 10, Weaver 0

Weaver 000 000 — 0 3 5
Piedmont 161 101 — 10 8 0

Josh Langley, Cody Ortiz (2) and Tyrik Hall; Caleb Morrow, Taylor Hayes (6) and Easton Kirk. 3B: Taylor Hayes (P). RBI: Easton Kirk (P), Taylor Hayes (P), Caleb Morrow (P) 3, Ry Atkins (P) 3. WP: Caleb Morrow. LP: Josh Langley.

Alexandria 8, Pleasant Valley 0

Pleasant Valley 000 000 0 — 0 3 2
Alexandria 114 002 x — 8 9 0

Nick Charping, Elijah Borders (4) and Drew Bonds; Taylor Shaddix and C.J. Howell, Mitch Welch (6). 2B: Griffin Carroll (A), Will Reaves (A). RBI: Will Reaves (A) 2, Cody Dodd (A), Jake Woodward (A), Brock Presley (A), Zac Stevens (A), C.J. Howell (A) 2. WP: Taylor Shaddix. LP: Nick Charping.

Oxford 10, Wellborn 0

Wellborn 000 00 — 0 1 3
Oxford 202 51 — 10 10 1

Ethan Beadles, Jaylun Kelley (5) and Jacob Shears; Brody Syer and Derek Miller. 2B: Brody Syer (O). RBI: Austin Bolander (O) 2, Jacob Sears (O), Brennan McCullough (O), Derek Miller (O). WP: Brody Syer. LP: Ethan Beadles.


March 4
(9) Wellborn 12, (8) Saks 10
(5) Ohatchee 14, (12) Donoho 1
(4) Jacksonville 11, (13) Faith 1
(3) Piedmont 14, (14) Anniston 0
(6) Weaver 2, (11) JCA 0
(10) Pleasant Valley 4, (7) White Plains 3

March 5 (at Henry Farm Park)
Ohatchee 3, Jacksonville 2
Piedmont 10, Weaver 0
(2) Alexandria 8, Pleasant Valley 0
(1) Oxford 10, Wellborn 0

March 7 (at Henry Farm Park)
Piedmont vs. Alexandria, 4:30 p.m.
Oxford vs. Ohatchee, 7 p.m.

March 8 (at Henry Farm Park)
Championship game, 5:30 p.m.

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