E.A. Sports Today

PV going all out

Raiders bounce back after opening loss to take the nightcap, get momentum for Saturday’s deciding game; also Spring Garden sweeps, Cleburne County swept

By East Alabama Sports Today

GERALDINE – The Pleasant Valley Raiders are looking to have the momentum Saturday after winning the second game of their playoff doubleheader to force a deciding game in their Class 3A playoff series with Geraldine.

The Raiders lost the first game 6-5, but bounced back to take the nightcap 6-2. The teams play at 1 p.m. Saturday, with the winner advancing to the second round at home against either Elkmont or Oakman.

“We went out there and played lights out,” PV coach Chris Youngman said. “We had a diving catch in right field and had some boys playing their hearts out realizing it could be the last one. They laid it on the line and got the job done. Hopefully, we’ll get some momentum for (Saturday).”

Nick Howard had two doubles in the opener, then got intentionally walked twice. Nick Charping hit a two-run double in the third to open the scoring and Triston Salster singled in the fifth to get them within 6-4. Brody Phillips doubled home the Raiders’ final run in the seventh, putting runners at second and third, but they came up just short.

They jumped out in the nightcap with three in the first and stayed ahead; Howard had the only hit of the inning, a two-out, two-run double. The Raiders added two insurance runs in the fifth on Phillips’ two-run double and one in the sixth on Salster’s single.

“We hit throughout the whole lineup today,” Youngman said. “It’s the first time in a while we’ve had some consistent hitting. Anybody can get hot at any point in time.”

Phillips is expected to start Saturday’s game for the Raiders with Jackson Almaroad slated to provide relief. The Raiders won the coin toss and will be the “home” team for the game.

Geraldine 6, Pleasant Valley 5
Pleasant Valley 002 020 1 — 5 9 0
Geraldine 001 410 x — 6 10 1

WP: Brady Gilbert. LP: Dalton Payne. 2B: Nick Howard 2 (PV), Nick Charping (PV), Brody Phillips (PV), Alex Parris (PV), Dakota Jones (PV). Hitting – PV: Dakota Jones 1-4; Alex Parris 1-2, 2 runs; Caden Turner 0-0, run; Caden McCurdy 1-2, run; Nick Charping 2-4, 2 RBIs; Triston Salster 1-4, RBI; Nick Howard 2-2; Drew Bonds 0-4, Brody Phillips 1-4, RBI; Ashton King 0-4; Geraldine: Brady Gilbert 0-2, run; Will Jacobs 2-4; Justin Murphy 2-4, 2 RBIs; Jordan Bookten 1-4, 2 RBIs; Avery Byars 0-2, run; Peyton Mooney 3-3, run; Matthew Malone 0-3; Luke Maddox 0-2, run, RBI; Bret Armstrong 2-3, RBI.

Pleasant Valley 6, Geraldine 2
Geraldine 001 010 0 — 2 5 8
Pleasant Valley 300 021 x — 6 6 2

WP: Caden McCurdy. LP: Avery Byars. 2B: Nick Howard (PV), Brody Phillips (PV). Hitting – Geraldine: Brady Gilbert 2-4, run; Will Jacobs 1-4, RBI; Justin Murphy 0-4; Jordan Cookten 0-2; Avery Byars 0-3; Peyton Mooney 1-2; Matthew Malone 0-3; Luke Maddox 1-3; Bret Armstrong 0-1. PV: Dakota Jones 1-3, run; Alex Parris 0-2, run; Caden Turner 0-3, run; Nick Charping 0-4, run; Triston Salster 1-4, RBI; Nick Howard 1-2, run, RBI; Drew Bonds 0-3; Brody Phillips 1-2, 2 RBIs; Ashton King 0-1.

Etowah 5-10, Cleburne County 0-1: The Blue Devils’ pitchers didn’t give Cleburne County hitters much of anything all day and swept their Class 5A playoff series.

Eli Dunn pitched a one-hitter in the 5-0 opener. Jordan Brown got the Tigers’ only hit, a two-out single in the second inning. From there, Dunn retired the next 12 batters in a row and allowed only three total base runners the rest of the game.

In the nightcap, the Tigers managed four hits and scored a first-inning run on Trevor Houston’s RBI line single in the first, but they never led. The Blue Devils scored four in the top of the first. Noah Parrish hit a two-run for them in the fifth.

Spring Garden 12-12, Vina 2-0: Behind solid pitching and timely hitting, the Panthers (20-6) are headed for a second-round showdown against top-ranked Decatur Heritage.

Spring Garden jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on Dawson Broome’s three-run triple. Broome had a three-run homer in the second game; he went 4-for-5 with six RBIs on the day. Senior catcher Ben Ivey put the exclamation point on the win with his walk off single to center that scored Riley Austin, capping a seven-run bottom of the fifth for the final.

Christian Crider captured the win, scattering four hits and five strikeouts. Austin, Broome and Slayton each had a pair of hits to lead the Panther offense. Austin doubled to right in the fifth to set the stage for Ivey’s walk-off hit.

Spring Garden jumped out to an early 4-0 lead at the end of an inning and a half of the nightcap, and that would prove more than enough run support for senior pitcher Joe Rogers, who had a no-hitter going through four innings. Justin Gravitt broke up the big with a single to center.

Rogers said he wasn’t aware he hadn’t given up a hit up to that point.

“I really didn’t know until they told me in the dugout,” Rogers said. “Crider was like ‘You had a no-hitter until you gave up that hit.’ I didn’t even know it. I was just in the zone. I was locked in.” — Shannon Fagan

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