E.A. Sports Today

Bulldogs bounce back

Piedmont recovers from losing series opener to crush West Morgan in nightcap, forcing decisive third game Saturday

By East Alabama Sports Today

TRINITY – After suffering a tough loss in the opening game of their second-round playoff series Friday, coach Matt Deerman knew there was really only one way his Piedmont Bulldogs could have gone.

Experience has taught him the Bulldogs weren’t about to give in. They bounced back from that 11-7 loss to crush West Morgan 11-1 and force a winner-take-all Game 3 Saturday at 1 p.m.

“With us going deep and being in pressure situations in all three sports, I think our kids can bounce back from things like that,” Deerman said. “They were locked in and focused on ‘We’ve gotta get to Saturday. We’ve gotta get to Saturday.’

“It was a confident feeling (between games) knowing these kids haven’t laid down, they’re ready to bounce right back and win right here and get us to Saturday. It was a fun thing to watch, the attitude they had.”

Derrick Baer blasted a walk-off grand slam with two outs in a nine-run fifth inning that ended the nightcap. Baer was 3-for-3 with a sacrifice fly and had six RBIs. He also had an RBI double the first time he batted in the fifth.

Easton Kirk went 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles, Taylor Morrow went 1-for-1 with three walks and both Bash Brothers reached base all four times they batted. Kirk also was “on” as pitcher, giving up only three hits and striking out nine in the five innings he worked.

“I was a little nervous because he hadn’t thrown a lot lately,” Deerman said. “He threw two innings against Jacksonville and two innings in practice last week. I was glad he didn’t have to go long because it kept his pitch count down pretty good. It was good we could end that thing early and keep him as fresh as possible.”

The Bulldogs (22-11) have Logan Pruitt and Taylor Morrow available to throw Saturday.

The first game was a matchup of ace against ace, and both pitchers went the distance, but it was far from the pitching duel that was anticipated.

Piedmont’s Taylor Hayes gave up 11 hits and 11 runs, but only three of the runs were earned as the Bulldogs were charged with five errors. West Morgan’s Parker Henson gave up 10 hits and seven runs, but only two of the runs were earned.

“Their coach and our coach were both shocked,” Deerman said. “We thought we were going into a 2-1 game or something like that. We got ahead 5-1 and felt comfortable like we’ve got this one in the bag and then everything went wrong and every time we’d make a mistake they’d make us pay. Everything went their way that game.”

Easton Kirk and Taylor Morrow had back-to-back two-run singles in the five-run second inning that gave the Bulldogs that 5-1 lead. Kirk had two hits and three RBIs in the game and Morrow had three hits and two RBIs.

The Rebels (20-12) got two in the bottom of the inning, two more in the fourth and eventually tied the game 7-7 with two in the fifth. They took an 11-7 lead in the sixth on James Chandler’s RBI single and a three-run homer by Peyton Barnes.

“Hopefully we’ve got the momentum going into tomorrow,” Deerman said. “We’ve got two good arms left and I think if we show up and play we’ll be OK, give ourselves a chance to win.”

The winner of the series will get Lauderdale County next week.

Game One
West Morgan 11, Piedmont 7
Piedmont 050 110 0 — 7 10 5
West Morgan 120 224 x — 11 11 2

WP: Parker Henson. LP: Taylor Hayes. 2B: Mason Mohon (P), Shane Peters (WM), Glacine Seagars (WM). HR: Peyton Barnes (WM). Hitting – Piedmont: Taylor Hayes 1-3, 2 runs, RBI; Easton Kirk 2-4, 3 RBIs; Taylor Morros 3-4, 2 RBIs; Derrick Baer 0-4; Bailey Graves 0-4; Mason Mohon 2-4, 2 runs; Logan Pruitt 1-3, run; Cole Chasteen 0-4; Michael Rogers 1-2, run, RBI; Layton New 0-0, run. West Morgan: Alex Traynom 1-3, RBI; Parker Henson 3-4, 2 runs, RBI; Zac Mills 0-4, RBI; Shane Peters 1-4, run, RBI; Ashton Owens 0-4; Chandler James 2-4, 2 runs, RBI; Peyton Barnes 2-3, 3 runs, 3 RBIs; Glavine Seagars 2-3, run, RBI; Trentin McGregor 0-2, run; Colby Hutton 0-0, RBI.

Game Two
Piedmont 11, West Morgan 1
West Morgan 000 01 — 1 3 1
Piedmont 001 19 — 11 8 9

WP: Easton Kirk. LP: Alex Traynom. 2B: Derrick Baer (P), Taylor Morrow (P), Easton Kirk 2 (P). HR: Derrick Baer (P). Hitting – West Morgan: Alex Traynom 0-2; Parker Henson 1-3; Zac Mills 0-2; Shane Peters 0-2; Ashton Owens 2-1, run; Chandler James 0-1; Peyton Barnes 0-2; Glavine Seagars 1-2, RBI; Trentin McGregor 0-2. Piedmont: Taylor Hayes 1-2, 2 runs, RBI; Easton Kirk 2-2, RBI; Taylor Morrow 1-1, 2 runs, RBI; Derrick Baer 3-3, 2 runs, 6 RBIs; Bailey Graves 0-3, run; Mason Mohon 1-3, run; Logan Pruitt 0-0; Nick Johnson 0-2; Michael Rogers 0-3, run; Layton New 0-0, run; Christian Doss 0-0, run.

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