E.A. Sports Today

Wellborn hit parade

Panthers put on their hitting shoes, pound 24 hits in a lop-sided win over winless Woodland; Oxford sweeps, Piedmont falls

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

WOODLAND — The Wellborn baseball team rode down 431 needing a win in a bad way for its own peace of mind. It got one in a big way.

The Panthers put on their hitting shoes Friday and overran winless Woodland 19-2.

Wellborn (4-4) pounded 24 hits in the five-inning game. Everyone in the Panthers’ lineup got at least one hit with eight getting two or more. Eight of the nine batters scored at least one run.

They scored 12 runs in a 12-inning win over Saks in the county tournament earlier this year, but didn’t have near the pure hitting game or put the good defense with it as they did against the Bobcats (0-7).

“I told the kids the last couple weeks one game we’d hit the ball well and one game we’d play defense well,” Panthers coach Shane Harrell said. “I told them when we ever come around and get them both on the same page we’ll be a pretty good baseball today, and today I’m very proud of the way we got on the same page with our offense and our defense.

“I knew we were going to come out here and play good ball. Now, did I know we’d come out here and do what we did; no. But I’m proud of the way we came together. We had to work on us and this was us getting better today.”

Blake Hanson homered in the first inning, came all the way around in the second (with two in front of him) and went 4-for-5 with six RBI. He called it “probably the best game I’ve played all year – and it was great.”

Brant Denham went 4-for-5 with hits in each of his last four at-bats. Ked Harris, Kane Pitts and Jacob Shears had three hits apiece, with Shears, a 240-pound catcher, tripling in his first at-bat. Shears reached base all five times he came to the plate.

And they could have scored a lot more, but Harrell had the runners going station-to-station on hits with runners in scoring position after the Panthers had passed the first run-rule threshold.

“This was great because we had been struggling lately,” Hanson said. “We always had a bad inning and that bad inning would lead on to the game and ruin it. Today we didn’t have any bad innings and everybody came together and hit for the first time in a while. I think it was a great game.”

It was such a hitting fest, starting pitcher Ethan Beadles even had his first two hits of the season. He entered the game 0-for-13 and by his own estimation it had been a while since he had a hit.

“I hadn’t had a hit in I don’t know how long; it just felt good hitting the ball again,” Beadles said. “It was real fun getting to hit with everybody.”

Oxford 10, Gadsden City 8
Oxford 9, Gadsden City 6

GADSDEN — The Yellow Jackets snapped a 6-6 tie with three runs with two outs in the top of the seventh to complete the sweep. Austin Bolander went 4-for-5 with three RBIs and Brody Syer went 3-for-5.

The bottom part of the lineup produced six hits and four RBIs. Adams, Brennan McCullough and Caden Higgins had two hits, and Derek Miller had two RBIs.

It was Miller’s sacrifice fly that broke the tie. Bolander singled home an insurance run and the third scored on an error.

In the opener, the Yellow Jackets scored nine runs in the innings immediately after Gadsden City scored to go from a 4-1 deficit to a 10-6 lead in the fourth.

The middle portion of the lineup provided the punch with all eight of the Yellow Jackets’ hits. Jacob Sears, Andy Hammond and Chance Adams had two hits apiece. Nate Lloyd and Sears drove in two runs each.

Cherokee County 7, Piedmont 3

CENTRE – Cherokee County pushed across three runs in the fifth on two RBI singles and an error to pull away from a one-run game and Noah Ledbetter got out of a bases-loaded jam at the start of 2 2/3 innings of no-hit closing relief.

The unranked Warriors (13-3) reached Piedmont starter Taylor Hayes for four runs in the first two innings, but Easton Kirk’s leadoff homer started a three-run fourth that closed the gap to 4-3.

Mason Rogers and Cade Gossett had RBI singles in the seventh and Caleb Ransum scored on an infield error. Gossett, Rodgers and Jy Lockridge had two hits apiece for the Warriors.


Wellborn 19, Woodland 2

Wellborn (4-4) 373 60 — 19 24 2
Woodland (0-7) 002 00 — 2 5 4

WP: Ethan Beadles. LP: Trey Bradford. 2B: Ked Harris (We), Brant Denham (We), Jordan Montgomery 2 (We), Trey Bradford (Wo), T. Allen (Wo). 3B: Jacob Shears (We). HR: Blake Hanson (We).

Cherokee County 7, Piedmont 3

Piedmont 000 300 0 – 3 5 3
Cherokee Co. 220 030 x – 7 10 0

WP: Chris Ray. LP: Taylor Hayes. S: Noah Ledbetter. 2B: Bayley Blanchard (P), Collin Brewer (C). HR: Easton Kirk (P).

Oxford 10, Gadsden City

Oxford 014 500 0 — 10 8 3
Gadsden City 042 002 0 — 8 9 5

WP: Brantley Bargerhuff. LP: Conor Smith, S: Trey Hopper. 2B: Andy Hammond 2 (O).

Oxford 9, Gadsden City 6

Oxford 050 010 3 — 9 15 3
Gadsden City 111 300 0 — 6 8 3

WP: Chance Adams. LP: Ried Gladden. S: Trey Hopper. 2B: Austin Bolander (O), Brody Syer (O), Nate Lloyd (O), Nicholas Warsham (G), Ahmad DeRamus (G). 3B: Brody Syer (O).

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