E.A. Sports Today

Bulldogs clinch

Piedmont wins sixth straight area championship, await runner-up from Area 13 to open Class 3A playoffs

By East Alabama Sports Today

GLENCOE – Piedmont may have changed baseball coaches this season, but the Bulldogs never changed their outlook on winning.

The Bulldogs clinched their sixth straight area championship in their first year under coach Matt Deerman Friday when they beat Glencoe 12-3 to sweep another area series.

“I had some big shoes for fill,” said Deerman, promoted to head coach when James Blanchard stepped down to spend more time with his family. “I learned a lot from Coach Blanchard. He left me in a year that he knew we’d have some success.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to take over a really good group of seniors that had a lot of success in multiple sports. I told them this could go one of two ways – it could be y’all try to run over me as a new coach or if you can take over this team and run it we can have a good year together. They do a tremendous job of being leaders and made my first year very pleasurable and made life easier on me.”

The Bulldogs (15-8) appear to be hitting their stride after their usual late transition from basketball. They improved to 4-0 in the three-team Class 3A Area 10 and haven’t lost a regular-season game in their area since 2013. They await the runner-up from Area 13, either Brindlee Mountain or New Hope, for their playoff opener.

“It’s frustrating in the beginning of the year when everybody’s on their A-game and we’ve had two or three practices if we’re lucky,” Deerman said. “At the same time it has its payoffs in the end. The success, it just carries over from one sport to the other and it definitely pays off in the end.”

Deerman thought it took his team a little while to get going Friday after being the Yellow Jackets 14-1 Tuesday, but the Bulldogs jumped on their hosts for three in the first inning and never looked back.

Easton Kirk had a two-run double in the inning and Logan Pruitt worked a bases-loaded walk. Kirk, Derrick Baer and Mason Mohon all had two hits and two RBIs. Kirk and Bailey Graves each scored three runs.

Taylor Hayes pitched the first six innings for the win, giving up four hits and striking out eight. Taylor Morrow threw the seventh to close it out.

Piedmont 12, Glencoe 3
Piedmont 320 103 3 — 12 10 1
Glencoe 111 000 0 — 3 5 3

WP: Taylor Hayes. LP: Kaleb Pentecost. 2B: Taylor Hayes (P), Derrick Baer (P), Easton Kirk 2 (P), Noah Huff (G). Hits – Piedmont: Taylor Hayes, Easton Kirk 2, Taylor Morros, Bailey Graves, Derrick Baer 2, Mason Mohon 2, Cole Chasteen; Glencoe: Kaleb Pentecost, Bryan Benefield, Noah Huff 2, Alec Pointer. RBIs – Piedmont: Easton Kirk 2, Taylor Morrow, Bailey Graves, Derrick Baer 2, Mason Mohon 2, Logan Pruitt; Glencoe: Kaleb Pentecost, Noah Huff.

Spring Garden 7, Donoho 4: Ben Ivey drove in three runs, including a two-run single in the fourth inning that snapped a 4-4 tie in the Class 1A Area 10 game. Donoho took a 4-2 lead in the third, scoring on a dropped third strike, a wild pitch and bases loaded walks to Jase Alderman and Reid Williamon. The Panthers tied it in the bottom of the inning on Dawson Broome’s two-run homer. Hall Billings went 3-for-4 for Donoho.

Spring Garden 7, Donoho 4
Donoho 004 000 0 — 4 7 4
Spring Garden 112 300 x — 7 9 0

WP: Austin Finch. LP: Garrett Steed. 2B: Hall Billings (D), C. Slayton (SG). HR: Dawson Broome (SG)

Cleburne County 14, Munford 3: Nick Dunston went 4-for-4 with four RBIs to lead the Tigers’ 13-hit attack. Mack Humphries drove in three runs and was 2-for-4, along with Jordan Brown and Cade Smith.

The Tigers took control of the game with a five-run second inning. Humphries hit a three-run homer, Brown an RBI double and Damian Benefield a run-scoring single.

Brock Swafford pitched a complete game for the victory. He allowed three hits and struck out three.

Cleburne County 14, Munford 3
Cleburne County 152 402 — 14 13 2
Munford 002 100 — 3 3 5

WP: Brock Swafford. LP: Ehan Bell. 2B: Mack Humphries (CC), Jordan Brown (CC), Trevor Houston (CC), Brock Swafford (CC), Draven Campbell (M). HR: Mack Humphries (CC).

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