E.A. Sports Today

End of the road

Wellborn swept by Lauderdale County, bringing an end to the Panthers’ playoff run, Manning’s season as coach

By East Alabama Sports Today

ROGERSVILLE – The Wellborn Panthers couldn’t have picked a worse time to be flat or run into a Lauderdale County team that was as sharp as ever.

The Panthers run in the Class 3A baseball playoffs ended Friday when they were swept by Lauderdale County 11-1 and 5-2.

The season-laden Panthers, who hit .457 as a team in last week’s series win at Pisgah, were held to four hits in the first game and six hits in the second. When they did appear to drop in a hit, the Tigers’ fielders were there to take it away.

“We never got started tonight,” Wellborn coach Todd Manning said. “We came out flat. The way last week we came out all excited, it wasn’t that way. It was like they were waiting for something to happen before they got up instead of making it happen.

“I don’t know what it was with them today, if it was the long bus ride or what. We just weren’t the same team we had been. I guess it wasn’t our day.”

The homestanding Tigers were in control of Game 1 from the start, scoring runs in every inning. Wellborn’s four hits went to Brandt Denham, Hunter Haynes, Blake Hanson and Ked Harris. Haynes drove in the Panthers’ run with a fifth-inning single.

In the second game Lauderdale County scored two in the first and Wellborn answered with a run off Jacob Shears’ ground out, but the Tigers scored two more in the second and kept Wellborn at bay.

Jordan Montgomery had three of the Panthers’ six hits in the game. He scored their run in the fourth that made it 5-2.

The sweep shouldn’t diminish what the Panthers got done this year.

“I think they met and went above expectations,” Manning said. “This is basically the team they had last year and it didn’t make the playoffs and this year we made it to the second round, so to them it’s an accomplishment.”

The sweep likely brought an end to Manning’s one-year tenure as the Panthers’ head coach. Being the most experienced coach on the baseball staff, Manning was installed as head coach after Shane Harrell stepped down for health reasons just hours before the season opener. The torch is expected to be passed to assistant coach Nick Burns next season.

“It’s been a great year watching them grow as a team and them all coming together and being there for each other,” Manning said. “By the end of the year they were all for each other, complementing each other, there for each other. It’s been a fun group of seniors to have.”

Game 1
Lauderdale County 11, Wellborn 1
Wellborn 000 01 — 1 4 6
Lauderdale County 222 5x — 11 8 1

WP: Parker Garner. LP: Ethan Beadles. 2B: Blake Hanson (W), Ked Harris (W), Michael Brown (L). 3B: William Maner (L). Hitting – Wellborn: Brandt Denham 1-3; Hunter Haynes 1-3, RBI; Jordan Montgomery 0-1; Jacob Shears 0-2; Blake Hanson 1-3; Kane Pitts 0-2; Brandon Swann 0-2; Devin Brown 0-2; Ked Harris 1-2, run. Lauderdale County: Jeffrey Palmer 0-3, RBI; Spencer Sartain 1-2, 2 runs; John Wilson 1-2, 2 runs; Parker Garner 1-2, run, RBI; William Maner 1-3, run, 2 RBIs; Alex Newton 1-2, 2 runs, RBI; Michael Brown 1-2, 2 RBIs; Levi Greer 2-2, run, RBI; Steven Wisdom 0-3, run.

Game 2
Lauderdale County 5, Wellborn 2
Lauderdale County 220 100 0 — 5 11 1
Wellborn 100 100 0 — 2 6 0

WP: William Maner. LP: Brandt Denham. 2B: Jeffrey Palmer (L), Levi Greer (L). HR: John Wilson (L). Hitting – Lauderdale County: Jeffrey Palmer 2-4, run; Spencer Sartain 1-2; John Wilson 1-3, run, 2 RBIs; Parker Garner 1-3; William Maner 0-4; Alex Newton 2-3, 2 runs; Michael Brown 1-1; Levi Greer 2-3, run, 2 RBIs; Steve Wisdom 1-3, RBI. Wellborn: Brandt Denham 1-4; Hunter Haynes 0-3, run; Jordan Montgomery 3-4, run; Jacob Shears 0-2, RBI; Blake Hanson 0-3; Kane Pitts 1-2; Brandon Swann 1-3, RBI; Devin Brown 0-2; Ethan Beadles 0-1; Ked Harris 0-3.

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