E.A. Sports Today

Taylor Made

Senior left-hander Hayes put together a masterful performance in lifting the Bulldogs over White Plains to reach county semifinals

Piedmont left-hander Taylor Hayes was hard to hit Saturday in the Calhoun County quarterfinals. (Photos by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

(Records overall, in-county)
Friday’s Games
No. 9 Wellborn 6, No. 8 Pleasant Valley 5
No. 4 Ohatchee 13, No. 13 Faith Christian 3
No. 6 Piedmont 15, No. 11 Jacksonville Christian 1
No. 5 Alexandria 10, No. 12 Donoho 0
No. 3 White Plains 17, No. 14 Anniston 2
No. 7 Saks 5, No. 10 Weaver 0
Saturday’s Games
(All games at Signature Field)
Alexandria 6, Ohatchee 4
Piedmont 3, White Plains 1
No. 2 Jacksonville 11, Saks 0
No. 1 Oxford 12, Wellborn 2
March 13
(All games at Signature Field)
Semifinal No. 1: Piedmont vs. Jacksonville, 4:30 p.m.
Semifinal No. 2: Alexandria vs. Oxford, 7 p.m.
March 14
Consolation game, 4:30 p.m. (pod field)
Championship game, 7 p.m. (Signature)

By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD – Piedmont left-hander Taylor Hayes put together a masterful performance, mixing his pitches and allowing only an infield single after the third inning as he shut down White Plains 3-1 Saturday in the Calhoun County Tournament.

“Taylor pitched extremely well,” Piedmont coach Matt Deerman said. “He was extremely effective today. He got ahead in the count. At one point he had thrown 39 strikes in 47 pitches. He kept the ball low and let his teammates make plays on the ball.”

Hayes gave up four hits, struck out six and walked one on 88 pitches.

The win advanced the Bulldogs (4-4) into Monday’s 4:30 p.m. brother-against-brother semifinal with Jacksonville at Choccolocco Park. It also avenged an earlier 14-1 loss to the Wildcats (6-3).

Piedmont’s Deerman is the younger brother of Jacksonville coach David Deerman. Jacksonville won a 2-0 regular-season game between the teams earlier this year.

Easton Kirk was a beast at the plate for the Bulldogs against White Plains. The senior catcher went 4-for-4 with a first-inning double. He had hits in the first, third, fifth and seventh innings.

“Easton is the heart of our offensive line-up,” Deerman said. “He is extremely good at making adjustments at the plate and is the heart of our line-up.”

Piedmont scored first in the top of the second inning when Ry Atkins slapped a two-out double and then came home on Logan Prewitt’s single. Atkins and Prewitt both had two hits in the game.

White Plains got the run right back in the bottom half when Brett Beaver led off with a double and eventually scored on Tucker Harrell’s sacrifice fly.

The Bulldogs pushed the deciding runs across in the fifth inning after leaving six runners on base in the first four innings. Easton Kirk and Taylor Morrow singled, then Derrick Baer then hit a shot that went into the left corner for a triple scoring both runners.

Andrew Cronan started on the mound for White Plains and struck out six. He was relieved in the sixth inning by Andrew Norred who struck out six of the eight batters he faced in just two innings.

Piedmont 010 020 0 — 3 12 0
White Plains 010 000 0 — 1 4 2

WP: Taylor Hayes. L: Andrew Cronan. 2B: Ry Atkins (WP), Easton Kirk (P), Taylor Hayes (P). 3B: Derrick Baer (P)

Eli Gravitt (10) slides into the plate ahead of Piedmont catcher Easton Kirk’s tag for White Plains’ only run of the game. (Photo by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

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