E.A. Sports Today

High-voltage battery

Baseball roundup: Junior Ford, seventh-grader Elliott find magic together as battery mates, Donoho splits day’s Experience

Cleburne County 14, Jacksonville 4
Donoho 8, Wellborn 5
GW Long 14, Saks 1
Hokes Bluff 10, Wellborn 0
Pleasant Valley 9, Childersburg 1
Ragland 4, Donoho 3 (10 inns.)
Saks 4, Sardis 0

By East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD – Greg Maddux had Eddie Perez. John Lester had David Ross. Steve Carlton had Tim McCarver. And Seth Ford has Lucas Elliott.

Pitching to his now-designated catcher, Ford threw his best game of the season Tuesday in Donoho’s 8-5 win over Wellborn in the Choccolocco Park Spring Break Experience.

Throwing to his seventh-grade catcher Elliott, Ford, a junior, had a no-hitter through four innings with seven strikeouts and faced the minimum number of batters. Ford and Elliott have been together since the second of Ford’s four starts this year.

“Lucas caught a great game,” Donoho coach Steve Gendron said. “I think they work well together. I think Seth likes throwing to him and it gives Reid Williamon a break. He’s just a seventh-grader, very young, and the future is bright for him, but to be able to catch a junior, one of our top arms, that’s pretty awesome to watch.”

Ford struck out five of the first six batters he faced. He finished with a three-hitter and struck out 14. The only hard-hit ball off him was Devin Brown’s leadoff double in the fifth that broke up his no-hitter. He threw 48 pitches in those first four innings, 33 for strikes.

“He was locked in; it’s the best he’s thrown all year,” Gendron said. “It was the first time he’s been able to throw his slider for strikes and a strikeout pitch. His command was there.”

The Falcons opened a 7-1 lead after five innings and held on. Hall Billings, Ford, Williamon and Judson Billings all had two hits in the game. Ford and Judson Billings each drove in a pair of runs.

The Falcons (6-7) lost their second game to Ragland 4-3 in 10 innings. The game ended on Taylor Seawright’s walk-off sacrifice fly after Coby Fuller led off with a single and moved around the bases on a stolen base and wild pitch.

Donoho grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first on Hall Billings’ steal of home and Williamon’s RBI triple. After Ragland tied it, the Falcons retook the lead 3-2 in the fifth on Williamon’s two-out RBI double, but the Purple Devils tied it in the bottom of the inning.

“This whole spring break (Williamon) has been really handling the bat well,” Gendron said.

Ragland put the go-ahead run at third with one out in the sixth inning, but Billings struck out the next two batters to end the inning. Noah Hollingsworth led off the seventh with a double and reached third with one out, but Billings picked him off and then struck out the last out.

Pleasant Valley 9, Childersburg 1: Jackson Almaroad threw an 84-pitch, two-hitter with six strikeouts. He gave up two singles, both in the third inning.

“He looked pretty comfortable on the mound,” PV coach Chris Youngman said. “He took control of the game and our guys played great defense behind him.”

The Raiders also supported him with 15 hits; every hitter had at last one. Brody Phillips went 3-for-5 while Reagan King, Caden Turner, Colby Nelson and Ashton King had two hits apiece. Ashton King drove in three runs.

Cleburne County 14, Jacksonville 4: Winning pitcher Brock Swafford went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and the Tigers collected seven extra base hits. Nick Dunston and Will Morrow both had a pair of hits and Devin Hicks had two RBIs.

Hokes Bluff 10, Wellborn 0: Jace Stewart pitched a five-inning one-hitter with eight strikeouts. Evan Beadles had the Panthers’ only hit, a line single to right in the second inning. The Eagles broke it open with a seventh-run fourth.

Saks 4, Sardis 0: Jaylen Childs pitched a three-hit shutout with eight strikeouts.

This story will be updated.

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