E.A. Sports Today

Living legacy

Oxford’s Green throws a complete-game gem in the same tournament his father pitched in two decades earlier

Hayden Green couldn’t have been more efficient, retiring 16 of the last 17 batters he faced, including the last 14 in a row. (Photos by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

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 – It took a few batters for Oxford’s Hayden Green to find his groove, but he survived a shaky start and then settled in to shut down Wellborn 12-2 Saturday night in a drizzly cold rain at Choccolocco Park.

The win moves the top-seeded Yellow Jackets (8-4) into the semifinals of the Calhoun County Tournament, where they will play Alexandria at 7 p.m.

Green gave up two hits to the first three Panthers who came to the plate and then retired 16 of the last 17 batters he faced, including the last 14 in a row. He kept the ball down as he fanned six hitters and walked only one in five innings of work.

He threw 60 pitches, 47 for strikes, five in the final sixth inning and 17 to the last nine batters he faced. He had only one fly ball out to the outfield.

“My teammates played really well behind me,” Green said. “It was my second start as my other one was against Pelham earlier this year (an 11-0 win). My curve was working really well and my change was hitting the spots. The guys just played great defense behind me and I have to give them all the credit.”

The start in the county tournament just added another chapter to the Green family legacy. Hayden’s father Jason pitched for Pleasant Valley between 1988 and 1991.

In a message swap with Oxford coach Wes Brooks, the elder Green said he couldn’t remember how many games it might have been, but does remember “Orlando Waters beat us my junior year throwing gas.”

“I just think it’s kind of neat for the Green family,” Brooks said. “For his son to get the win in the county tournament in the same tournament 20 or so years (apart).”

The Yellow Jackets enter next week’s semifinals with a well-rested pitching staff and no area games next week, so they can throw their entire pitching staff into Monday’s game with an eye towards Tuesday’s final.

Wellborn started the game with a bang as Brant Denham reached Green for a lead-off triple and scored on a one-out single by Jordan Montgomery. Montgomery then scored on an unusual sacrifice fly to left field that resulted in an inning-ending double play.

It was the second bizarre double play the Panthers were involved in in as many games/innings. Their opening-round win over Pleasant Valley ended on a strange twin-killing over confusion surrounding the infield fly rule.

Oxford answered Wellborn’s early scores in the bottom of the first on a three-run double by Jaren Turner. Judd Moore and Jack Peavey had run-scoring singles to spark a three-run rally in the third inning that extended the lead to 6-2.

Brody Syer singled, Nate Lloyd doubled and Brennan McCullough tripled as the Yellow Jackets plated three more runs in the fourth to make it 9-2.

Hayden Lindsey’s two-out single in the sixth-inning ended the game due to the 10-run lead after five.

Syer and McCullough scored three runs apiece. Turner had four RBIs on a double, two walks and a sacrifice fly.

Montgomery, Denham and Brandon Swann who had the only Wellborn hits.

Wellborn 200 000 — 2 3 2
Oxford 303 303 — 12 8 1

WP: Hayden Green. LP: Hunter Haynes. 2B: Nate Lloyd 2 (O), Jaren Turner (O). 3B: Brandt Denham (W), Brennan McCullough (0).

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