E.A. Sports Today

Brody brings it

Saks senior Johnson throws a one-hit shutout to get Wildcats off to good start in county tournament

Saks senior Brody Johnson allowed only four base runners in his one-hitter against Weaver. (Photo by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD – There’s something about pitching against Weaver that brings out the best in Saks senior right-hander Brody Johnson.

Making his first start of the season, Johnson pitched a brilliant seven-inning complete game one-hit shutout with seven strikeouts Friday in a 5-0 win over Weaver in the Wildcats’ Calhoun County Baseball Tournament opener at Choccolocco Park.

The effectiveness of the game reminded of an outing he had as an eighth-grader. He had a perfect game through six innings against the Bearcats on his catcher/brother Chase’s Senior Night.

“I don’t know what it is,” Johnson said. “I guess my pitches were on tonight,”

He threw 80 of them and needed only four to get the final four outs of his gem. The only hit he allowed was Nick Souder’s two-out single to right in the fifth inning. He walked one, hit one and struck out seven.

“It (a no-hitter) was in the back of my mind, but I wasn’t trying to think about it,” he said. “I was just trying to pitch and throw strikes.”

One of the pitches that got away from him actually helped his effectiveness. After hitting Weaver centerfield Jadon Calhoun in the head in the second inning he retired 17 of the last 19 batters he faced – and one of those was erased trying to steal second.

“I feel like a kid, a senior like that, who’s pitched his whole life, played shortstop, should be able to come out here and throw six or seven innings if he throws strikes,” Saks coach Wesley Ginn said. “For two or three years now he’s been able to pitch and he’s really been a good pitcher. He did a good job tonight and the defense did well. That’s makes a big difference when you field the ball and you have confidence behind you.”

Jaylen Childs gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead with a long leadoff home run in the second inning, his first of the season, and Johnson did the rest. Childs and Tony Hunley each had two hits in the game.

The Wildcats (5-3) now play second-seeded Jacksonville Saturday at 3 p.m. Ginn wouldn’t divulge his starter for the game but said confidently “we do have a plan.”

Weaver 000 000 0 — 0 1 2
Saks 012 020 x — 5 7 1

WP: Brody Johnson. LP: Austin Bryant. 2B: Harley Burgess (S), Jimmie Harlin (S). HR: Jaylen Childs (S).

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