E.A. Sports Today

Taye It Loud

Spring roundup: Jacksonville pitcher impresses coach in audition for a spot in the rotation; includes golf, softball, soccer, tennis reports

Helena’s Jamie Gregg slides into third base ahead of the tag of Oxford’s Emmali Means. Gregg went 5-for-5 for the Huskies. (Photo by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE – David Clark saw a lot of good things in Jacksonville’s slow-starting 12-2 victory over Ohatchee at Henry Farm Park Tuesday, but perhaps none was as satisfying as what he saw from the mound.

The game was a showcase for Taye Loud and the junior right-hander left his coach with a good impression before coming out in the fourth. Brandon Charping came in from center field behind him, got out of an inherited jam with a double-play liner and struck out the side in the fifth and final inning of the game.

“It was a good chance to put Taye on the mound and see what he could do in a start,” Clark said. “We’re kind of still searching right now who can fill those roles for us. I thought Taye did a really good job today. Threw the ball across the plate, battled through some innings, gave up some hits, but that doesn’t bother me.

“Most times nowadays hits don’t beat you; it’s everything that goes on before that hit happens. I was really proud of Taye not putting people on base, making people get hits. Honestly, I’m looking for strike-throwers not flame-throwers. I’d just as soon have a guy throw the ball across the place as any other and we’ll live with the outcome of that.”

Loud, a third baseman by trade, was pitching in his first varsity game and didn’t get the text he was going until Monday night. He threw some on the junior varsity last year, but for the most part hadn’t pitched in a regular role in “a lon-n-n-g time” — since he was 10.

He struck out the first batter of the game and gave up only one hit in his first three innings. He left having given up two run, four hits, two walks, a hit batsman and striking out three.

“It was just going out there and proving to them that I could do the job,” Loud said. “I was a little nervous because I hadn’t done it in a long time, but I got up there and shut the nerves off and threw the ball across the plate and let my team work behind me. It meant a lot to go out there and do good.”

The Golden Eagles (2-2) put Loud in position to get his first varsity win with a loud third inning after a silent start. They sent 14 batters to the plate and took advantage of four Ohatchee errors to score eight runs.

Austin Patterson got the outburst started when his one-out bunt back to the mound was thrown up the line for an error. He had a two-run single later in the inning and produced a two-run single in the fourth. Kyle Seeger had a two-run double in the big inning and an RBI single in the fourth.

“We didn’t hit it a ton tonight … but what I always talk about with them is put balls in play,” Clark said. “You’ve just got to put it in play and we’ve done that better, and we did it better tonight.”

It was only their second game of the season, but the Indians were very much in need of a victory. They had to cancel three games last week due to illness and injury and given the prospect of bad weather on the weekend wiping out more games a loss here had the potential to send them into Sunday’s county tournament seeding meeting with an 0-2 record and the possibility of a first-round draw against an area rival.

As it was, this game originally was scheduled for Ohatchee, but the Indians’ field wasn’t playable and the teams agreed to play it at Henry Farm Park just to get it in.

And it started well for the Indians. Starter Larry Noah retired the first seven batters he faced and the Tribe took a 1-0 lead in the second on Cade Williamson’s RBI single to center. But Charping cut down a second run from center field with the help of Loud backing up the plate and things started going downhill for them from there.

Ohatchee 010 10 – 2 5 4
Jacksonville 008 4x – 12 7 0
WP – Taye Loud. LP – Larry Noah.
2B: Grayson Alward (O), Kyle Seeger (J).

Pleasant Valley 4, Hokes Bluff 2: Ashton King went 3-for-3, Brody Phillips went 2-for-2 and Reagan King hit a two-run double in the fourth inning as the Raiders ran their start to 5-0.

PV starter Jackson Almaroad pitched five shutout innings and struck out seven before Triston Salster came on to get the final out.

The Raiders were 1-4 after five games last season.

“I’m pretty excited about it,” PV coach Chris Youngman said of the start. “The team is playing well and believing in themselves.”

Pleasant Valley 100 210 0 – 4 10 1
Hokes Bluff 000 001 1 – 2 10 1
WP – Jackson Almaroad. LP – Dylan Teague.
2B: Drew Bonds (PV), Brody Phillips (PV), Reagan King (PV), Houston Edwards (HB). HR: Landon Johnson (HB).

Piedmont 4, Westbrook Christian 3: Nick Johnson got hit by ball four with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the 10th to bring home T.J. Fairs with the winning run.

The Bulldogs took a 3-2 lead in the sixth when Taylor Morrow stole home with two outs, but Westbrook tied it in the seventh on Andrew Dutton’s sacrifice fly. Morrow had two hits.

The Warriors had the go-ahead run in scoring position with one out in the 10th, but Mason Mohon turned back the threat with an intentional walk, fielder’s choice and strikeout.

Mohon worked the last six innings behind starter Logan Pruitt to get the win. He gave up only two hits and struck out eight.

Westbrook 000 200 100 0 – 3 5 3
Piedmont 100 101 000 1 – 4 5 2

WP – Mason Mohon. LP – Jordan Reynolds.
2B: Joseph Gilchrist (W), Cullen Stafford (W), Taylor Morrow (P).

Donoho 10, Woodland 0: Hall Billings and Slade Haney combined on a two-hit shutout with 13 strikeouts in the five-inning game. Hall gave up one hit in four innings — a bad-hop single — and struck out 11, including four in the first inning. Charlie and Reid Williamon both had two-run doubles.

Jones, Pleasant Valley sharp

JACKSONVILLE — Olivia Jones came within one pitch of a perfect game, Mac Parris had two homers and nine RBIs and Pleasant Valley hit four homers altogether in a 10-0, 12-1 sweep of Ohatchee for its first two victories of the season.

The only base-runner Jones allowed in the five-inning opener was a second-inning two-out walk on a 3-2 pitch. She struck out four. “An awesome performance,” coach David Bryant said. The Lady Raiders supported her with the long ball — Parris hit a grand slam and two-run homer and Mikayla Kendrick ended the game with a solo shot.

Parris and Savannah Williams both drove in three runs in the nightcap. Parris, Bailey Harris and Ava Boozer had two hits apiece, Lindsey Pritchett and Boozer each had two RBIs and Williams ended the game with a two-run homer. Leah Patterson scattered four hits and struck out four over five innings in the circle.

Helena 11, Oxford 1 Jamie Gregg went 5-for-5 and Megan Fortson had three RBIs to lead the Huskies at Choccolocco Park. Emmali Meads had two hits for Oxford and Shelby Caldwell drove home the Lady Jackets’ only run with a second-inning one-out single.

Helena 201 215 – 11 15 0
Oxford 010 000 – 1 5 3
WP – Avery Barnett. LP –Emily Thrasher.
2B: Jamie Gregg (H), Torie White (H), Katie Lively (H), KK Wilson (H), Sarah Howell (O)

Donoho splits with Cherokee Co.

One thing you always see in a Donoho girls soccer team is great goalie play and great defense. The Lady Falcons lost a lot of players off last year’s Calhoun County Championship team, but do not feel sorry for coach Jay Jenkins as he has some quality players back.

Donoho’s defense was brilliant as usual and the offense kept the ball in 4A Cherokee County’s territory most of the night and the result was a 4-0 victory. Goalie Maggie Wakefield put together a shutout with only four saves.

The offense was led by Lily Weidmer, who hammered home three goals in the first half. She wanted more, but was shifted around in the second half to give Jenkins a chance to look at some other players in different positions.

”We have a lot of new faces this year, but we always put a premium on defense and started out tonight playing 6 defenders,” Jenkins said.

The Lady Falcons’ other goal came from Constance Hodges with 6:28 left in the first half on an assist from Whitney Seals. Seals had three assists; Savannah Frickey had the other. Donoho outshot the Lady Warriors 32-4.

Cherokee County boys 4, Donoho 0: The Falcons went toe-to-toe with Cherokee County for almost 55 minutes, but “we had a few breakdowns for 15 minutes and that was all it took,” coach Matthew Wright said.

A penalty kick goal by the Warriors took the breath out of the Falcons. By the time they recovered, Cherokee County scored three goals over the next 13 minutes to put the game away. – Brant Locklier

White Plains sixth in Blue-Gray

MONTGOMERY – The White Plains golf team had a tougher go of it in the second round of the Blue-Gray Classic, shot 323 as a team and finished sixth. Nathan Griffin, who shot the Wildcats’ high round Monday, was their low man Tuesday with a 75.

Team scores (top seven): Houston Academy 294-301—595, Fort Payne 308-310—618, Tuscaloosa County 308-310—618, Thompson 308-321—620, Thompson 308-321—629, Enterprise 314-315—629, White Plains 308-323—631, Spain Park 321-311—632.

Donoho sweeps pair

PELL CITY – The Donoho tennis teams head into Friday’s Calhoun County Tournament on a roll after the boys and girls teams coasted to 9-0 victories over Victory Christian. “We just kept playing and winning like we did versus Pleasant Valley before the break,” Donoho coach Laurie Rigsby said. “I am proud of the way we are playing right now.”

Boys Match
Donoho 9, Victory Christian 0

Cooper Montgomery (D) def. Joe Wong, 8-0
David Hudson (D) def. Walker Tomlin, 8-1
Gray Hanley (D) def. Nathan Le, 8-5
Harrison Han (D) def. Billy Davenport, 8-2
Rhett Rigsby (D) def. Tanner Aldridge, 8-1
Jack Ballard (D) def. Daniel Slatsky, 8-0
Montgomery-Hudson (D) def. Wong-Le, 8-1
Han-Rigsby (D) def. Tomlin-Davenport, 8-2
Hanley-McWhorter (D) def. Tanner-Daniel, 8-0

Girls Match
Donoho 9, Victory Christian 0

Emma Weidmer (D) def. Mary Griffin, 8-6
Virginia Hutto (D) def. Mikayla Carden, 8-4
Claire Walker (D) def. Libbie Davenport, 8-6
Lily Draper (D) def. Riley Chasteen, 8-0
Mary Perry (D) def. Suzanne Weir, 8-4
Harper Pumroy (D) def. Kaylee Tunnell, 8-1
Weidmer-Hutto (D) def. Griffin-Davenport, 8-4
Walker-Draper (D) def. Carden-Chasteen, 8-5
Perry-Pumroy (D) def. Weir-Tunnell, 8-4

Helena’s Torie White (22) signals to the Huskies dugout after her leadoff double in the fifth inning against Oxford. To see a photo gallery of the game visit www.bjfranklin.smugmug.com (Photo by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

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