E.A. Sports Today

Getting closer

Ohatchee blanks Glencoe, needs one more victory to clinch its first playoff berth in 20 years; Piedmont blanks Weaver

By East Alabama Sports Today

GLENCOE – The Ohatchee Indians are so close to a long-awaited playoff spot they can see it, but they still have a little more work to do before they can grasp it.

The Indians edged Glencoe 1-0 Wednesday, but still need to beat the Yellow Jackets one more time before they claim their first playoff berth since 1996.

The teams play again 4:30 p.m. Thursday in Ohatchee, weather permitting. If the Yellow Jackets even the series, the teams will flip a coin to determine where the tiebreaker is played the next day.

“We’ve got the upper hand now,” Indians coach Blake Jennings said. “We have a chance to clinch, that’s the thing. And we get to do it at home. It’s everything we’ve been working for.”

The Indians have been 2-3 going to this game each of Jennings’ first two seasons at the helm, but always came up one game short. None of the players on the team were even born the last time the Indians made the playoffs.

Jesse Sellers singled home Jaylon Jenkins with the only run of the game with two outs in the sixth inning. Jenkins started the rally with a single. He moved to second on Michael Cherry’s grounder to the pitcher and scored on Sellers’ second hit of the game.

Before Sellers’ single, Blayde Crump, the Indians’ starting pitcher, took an 80 mph fastball from left-hander Dalton Roberts just above the pitching elbow.

Crump was throwing a one-hitter with nine strikeouts at the time he was plunked and had to leave the mound. Taylor Eubanks finished it allowing one hit and striking out four.

Crump allowed a first-inning single and Eubanks gave up a two-out single in the seventh. Before Pace Ozmint’s single in the seventh, the two Ohatchee pitchers retired 17 batters in a row.

Jennings is expected to know more about Crump’s status Thursday, the day the Indians could clinch the No. 2 spot out of Class 3A Area 11.

Coaches are always saying the next game is the most important, but in the Indians’ case, it really is.

“Our guys are all excited,” Jennings said. “We’re 3-2 (in the area), a step closer, but we’ve got to do it one more time to get in. It feels real close – we’re right there – they threw their No. 1 (Wednesday), we threw our No. 1, and now it comes down to who has the better pitcher.”

Piedmont 7, Weaver 0

WEAVER — Caleb Morrow and Bailey Graves combined for a four-hit shutout and Easton Kirk slammed a three-run homer in the seventh inning to sweep the series.

Morrow also delivered a pair of hits for the Bulldogs and Bayley Blanchard drove in a pair of runs.

Graves escaped a seventh-inning jam of his own design with a 1-2-3 double play to preserve the shutout. It was the second 1-2-3 double play the Bulldogs turned in the game.

Blanchard and Payton Young both homered and drove in four runs in the Bulldogs’ 15-8 win Tuesday win that opened the series. Blanchard went 3-for-3 in that game and Kirk drove in three runs. Tyler Murray had three hits and two RBIs for Weaver.


Ohatchee 1, Glencoe 0

Ohatchee 000 001 0 — 1 7 0
Glencoe 000 000 0 — 0 2 1

WP: Blayde Crump. LP: Dalton Roberts. S: Taylor Eubanks.

Piedmont 7, Weaver 0

Piedmont 002 200 3 — 7 6 2
Weaver 000 000 0 — 0 4 2

WP: Caleb Morrow. LP: Austin Bryant. HR: Easton Kirk.

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