E.A. Sports Today

Rex marks the spot

Weaver rallies to beat Saks 5-4, Calhoun takes home ‘Mr. Rex’ after big double and strong relief appearance

Saks pitcher Harley Burgess (2) can’t get his glove down fast enough to prevent Weaver from scoring another run in the fifth inning on a passed ball. (Photos by B.J. Franklin)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD – Pleasant Valley has Moose the Minion in its dugout, but the Weaver baseball team has Mr. Rex and for the time being his caretaker is freshman Jadon Calhoun.

The Bearcats found a new mascot to rally around this week and Friday night they rallied around it to beat Saks 5-4 in the Calhoun County Tournament at Choccolocco Park.

The new mascot is a 12-inch rubberized T-Rex that goes by the name “Mr. Rex” and is to be presented to the star of every Weaver game. Mr. Rex made his debut Friday and Calhoun got to take him home after supplying a game-tying double and some strong relief to save the victory.

The Bearcats now get to play top-seeded Oxford Saturday at noon.

To see a photo gallery from tonight’s Calhoun County Tournament action, visit www.bjfranklin.smugmug.com

“We got it last week and whoever does well for the game gets to keep it and add whatever they want to to it and bring it back the next game,” Weaver coach Jeremy Harper said. “If it’s the same guy who wins it the next game then they get to keep it for the next one.”

Mr. Rex had a big No. 6 in the middle of his chest when Calhoun took him from Harper in the postgame meeting because left fielder Drake Monroe was the first to procure him after a practice following the Bearcats’ game with White Plains Monday. But Friday was the first time Mr. Rex took part in a game.

“We’re 1-0 with the dinosaur,” Harper said.

It was a hard-fought one, too. The Bearcats fell behind 3-0 in the third, but got two of the runs back in the bottom of the inning. They took the lead with three runs in the fifth on Calhoun’s game-tying RBI double and two runs that scored on passed balls.

The Wildcats scored their first two runs when Calhoun misplayed Jaylen Childs’ fly ball to center and his relay throw banged off the dugout and Childs scored when he tagged from third on Caleb Ogle’s pop into short center field.

“It was just weird how plays happened,” Harper said. “(Weaver’s players) never lost their mindset – and we talked about this all year – of being aggressive on the base paths and that set us up. When you’re not swinging it well you can do other things offensively to help yourself. They gave us opportunities and we ran the bases well.”

Calhoun said he was looking forward all week to being the one who took possession of Mr. Rex next. He went 2-for-2 with a walk and them came on to pitch after Caleb Ogle scored on a crazy bunt play to make it a one-run game and retired all five batters he faced. He struck out two and got two balls hit back to the mound.

“That was impressive, especially for a ninth grader,” Harper said. “He’s a good player for us, no doubt about it. He’d been struggling a little bit of late, but he relaxed tonight and did a good job at the plate – and on the mound.”

“It’s better than the last two games I pitched,” Calhoun said. “I tried to keep my confidence level up so I could go out there and show out.”

It was the second time this year Weaver has beaten Saks 5-4. The first meeting, shortly before the seeding meeting, was the difference in which team would be the home team in this 8/9 matchup.

“Tonight was a lot more fun that it was last time,” Calhoun said. “We had a lot more fun in the dugout and on the field.”

Pleasant Valley’s Reagan King (10) tries to get back to the bag ahead of the tag by Wellborn’s Austin McQueen. (Photo by B.J. Franklin)

Pleasant Valley 16, Wellborn 1: Brody Phillips had three hits, while Reagan King and Colby Nelson both went 2-for-2 with three RBIs as the Raiders pounded 15 hits in the five-inning win.

The Raiders now play fourth-seeded Jacksonville Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

Drew Bonds had a two-run triple and Nelson had a two-run double in a five-run first inning that got the Raiders going. The Raiders added three two-out runs in the second and broke it open with eight in the third.

Colby Nelson scattered three hits in working the first four innings.

The game came on the heels of Wellborn beating Anniston 15-2 for its first victory of the season.

Wellborn 15, Anniston 2: Austin McQueen went 3-for-3 and Devin Brown had three RBIs for the Panthers, who went up 8-0 after two innings. Jackson Connell hit an inside-the-park home run.

Evan Beadles retired the first 10 batters he faced and gave up just two fourth-inning hits – an RBI double by Jamaree West and an RBI single by Josh Foster.

Wellborn’s Evan Beadles held Anniston in check for most of the game. He retired the first 10 he faced and allowed only two hits. (Photo by B.J. Franklin)

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