E.A. Sports Today

Nothing doin’

Ohatchee’s Eubanks throws a five-inning no-hitter as Indians complete sweep of their area opening series

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

OHATCHEE – For the next little while at least, don’t be surprised if folks around the Ohatchee baseball team start calling Taylor Eubanks the miracle worker.

On Wednesday afternoon, the junior right-hander performed one miracle by tossing a five-inning no-hitter in the sixth-ranked Indians’ 11-0 victory over Ashville to sweep their area-opening series, then hurried off to rehearse for his role as the risen Jesus in his church’s Easter play.

It was the first no-hitter in Eubanks’ short career as a pitcher and the Indians’ second in coach Blake Jennings’ tenure. Blayde Crump threw a five-inning no-hitter last year.

“I did not know it at all,” Eubanks said. “They just told me after the game.”

Ironically, the seeds for the gem were sown Tuesday when Eubanks walked three and gave up an unearned run in his one inning of relief against the Bulldogs.

“I didn’t pitch too good,” Eubanks said. “Our A pitcher (Crump) pitched first and I came in after him. They were saying we didn’t have any pitching left and I took that personal.”

Eubanks faced only three batters over the minimum. He walked one and two batters reached on infield errors. He threw 52 pitches off a friendlier mound that he was on the day before — 33 for strikes — and struck out five.

“The plan was to let Eubanks go four and let (Jaylon) Jenkins throw the last three,” Jennings said. “But Eubanks was throwing the mess out of it so we left him in.”

His teammates believe he could have kept the no-hitter going if the game had gone the full seven innings.

“Our pitchers sometimes when they keep pitching will lose velocity or get tired, he wasn’t getting tired; he was the same through all five innings,” said catcher Micah Lee, who has now caught and thrown a no-hitter in his playing career. “He didn’t slow down or anything. If anything he got better. Every spot I called he was on it.”

It was a whole lot easier to pitch after the Indians scored eight runs for him in the second inning. Crump hit a two-run double that came within inches of being a grand slam, Michael Cherry followed with a three-run homer and Jenkins later hit a deep solo shot that Jennings said “would have gone out of any high school park.” Ben Glass had a two-run single in the fourth.

“You’ve gotta be focused and they focused the whole time,” Jennings said. “I felt good about it all day long.

“We got the two out of the way we needed to get out of the way to start out 2-0. Now we’ve got Westbrook next in the area (the Tuesday after) we come back from spring break, and that’s the game we’ve had penciled in on our calendar for a long time. If you want to be good in 3A baseball you’ve got to beat Westbrook.”

Ohatchee 11, Ashville 0

Ashville 000 00 – 0 0 2
Ohatchee 080 3x – 11 9 2

WP: Taylor Eubanks. LP: Chris Sanders. 2B: Blayde Crump 2 (O). 3B: Chase Widgeon (O). HR: Michael Cherry (O), Jaylon Jenkins (O).

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