E.A. Sports Today

Indians playoff bound

Jenkins homers twice, drives in 6 as Ohatchee gets first playoff berth in 20 years; Valley Cubs, PV, J’ville, Donoho all earn spots


By East Alabama Sports Today

OHATCHEE — Jaylon Jenkins can’t tell you the most significant thing that happened in the world in 1996. He wasn’t around back then. In fact, none of his Ohatchee baseball teammates were.

That was the last time the Indians made the state baseball playoffs, but that’s all history now.

Jenkins hit two home runs and drove in six runs as the Indians routed Glencoe 14-4 Thursday to clinch their first playoff berth in 20 years. They’re the No. 2 team out of Class 3A Area 11 and will travel to Area 12 champion Piedmont next Friday to open the playoffs.

Head coach Blake Jennings was only 7 the last time it happened.

“It feels unbelievable,” he said. “The kids fought hard all year and now you have an opportunity to get in the playoffs. That’s what we talked about, the opportunity to make your community and your school proud of you, and do it now. We told them what ‘now’ means – No Opportunity Wasted.”

Jenkins certainly didn’t waste it. He hit a two-run homer to help the Indians take a 4-0 lead in the second inning, then blasted a grand slam in an eight-run third that broke it wide open.

Micah Lee had a two-run single in the second inning and Blayde Crump had a two-run double in the third. The Indians batted around in the second and sent 13 batters to the plate in the third, scoring all their runs after the first two batters were retired.

Michael Cherry pitched all five innings for Ohatchee to get the win. He gave up five hits, but walked five and struck out four. He retired the first six batters he faced on 14 pitches.

When the final out was recorded, several of the players celebrated by doing back flips in the infield. (See video above)

For the record here are some of the significant events of 1996: Bill Clinton was President (and reelected to a second term). Fob James was Governor. Atlanta hosted the Summer Olympics. The Braves lost the World Series. The Dow closed over 6,000 for the first time. The Unabomber was arrested.

“It’s something we’ve been working on for a pretty good while now,” Jenkins said. “Just the fact that our team got up and achieved something that great since 1996 it’s really just breathtaking.

“I’ve actually been thinking about it a lot, the fact our team and our names are going to be put down in the books in Ohatchee known that we accomplished something going to playoffs and maybe even going to state. The way our team’s playing, I really think that we can do it. It’s really big to me we’re putting ourselves in the history of Ohatchee.”

Video courtesy of Jaylon Jenkins.

Alexandria 7, Lincoln 1

LINCOLN – The only thing Philadelphia Phillies’ right-hander Vince Velasquez had over Cody Dodd Thursday was Velasquez didn’t give up a run.

Dodd gave up two singles and struck out 15 as the Valley Cubs clinched the Class 5A Area 12 title. The run he allowed in the first inning was unearned, scoring on a passed ball. He walked three and faced five batters over the minimum.

Velasquez struck out 16 and allowed three singles in the Phillies’ 3-0 big-league win over San Diego earlier in the day.

Dodd threw 99 pitches, 63 for strikes. His last seven outs were all strikeouts – on 30 pitches. The only Lincoln hitter he didn’t struck out was leadoff man Zay Caldwell, and he reached base all three times he batted.

Mitch Welch had two hits and an RBI for Alexandria. Riley Shaw, Griffin Carroll and Brock Pressley also drove in runs for the Valley Cubs.

Pleasant Valley 8, Wellborn 6

Tristan Salster went 3-for-3 with three RBIs and Pleasant Valley took control of a see-saw battle with four runs in the seventh inning to clinch the second playoff spot out of Class 3A Area 12.

The Raiders twice rallied to tie the game in the first five innings before taking the lead for the first time in the sixth on Salster’s RBI double. The Panthers tied in the bottom of the inning.

Dakota Jones scored the go-ahead run in the seventh on a bases-loaded passed ball. Caden Turner, Brody Phillips and Salster also drove in runs in the inning.

Blake Hanson had three hits for Wellborn.

The Raiders will open the playoffs at Area 11 champion Westbrook Christian.

Jacksonville 8, White Plains 1

Finally getting back to full strength, the Golden Eagles clinched the second playoff spot out of Class 4A, Area 11. It was a season-long comeback to get the spot – they were swept by Cleburne County in the first area series of the season.

The Golden Eagles will play sixth-ranked Cherokee County, the Area 12 champions, next Friday in their playoff opener.

Saks 4, Cleburne County 1

Jaylen Childs’ two-run double highlighted a four-run sixth inning and Jalen Borders pitched a complete-game for the Wildcats.

Childs’ double came after Eley Downes and Harley Burgess opened the inning with a single and double, respectively. Jimmie Harlin and pinch hitter Andrew Kilgore had RBI singles later in the inning.

Borders gave up five hits and an earned run in seven innings. He struck out five. Nick Dunston and Brock Swafford each had two hits for Cleburne County, which had already locked up the Class 4A Area 11 title.

Donoho 12, JCA 2

Jesse McWilliams pitched a complete-game two-hitter with 10 strikeouts and four players had multiple hits as the Falcons clinched the Class 1A Area 12 championship.

Hall Billings and Nick Tutor both went 3-for-4. McWilliams and Garrett Steed had two hits apiece.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login