E.A. Sports Today

It’s clinching time

Baseball roundup: Ohatchee uses a 10-run seventh-inning rally to clinch its area title; Piedmont, Spring Garden also clinch area crowns

Thursday’s results
Boaz 3, Alexandria 1
Hokes Bluff 3, Jacksonville 0
JCA 17, Faith Christian 4
Ohatchee 7-13, Weaver 5-4
Oxford 4-9, Southside 1-1
Piedmont 10-7, Glencoe 2-0
Wellborn 9, Pleasant Valley 5
Spring Garden 9-1, Donoho 3-6
White Plains 6-7, Cherokee County 0-3

By East Alabama Sports Today

WEAVER – The Ohatchee Indians needed something big to happen in the seventh inning of their nightcap with Weaver if they wanted to win another area championship Thursday night.

So they went out and scored 10 runs.

The eruption allowed them to erase a one-run deficit and beat the Bearcats 13-4 to sweep the day’s doubleheader and clinch the Class 3A Area 9 regular-season title for the second year in a row. The Indians won the first game 7-5.

After not making the playoffs in 20 years, they will be going to postseason play for the third year in a row. After not winning an area title in 31 years, they’ve now won it two years in a row.

“It’s rewarding,” Ohatchee coach Blake Jennings said. “What I told the kids at the end is you’re kind of the core group. Jesse (Sellers) and Kevin (Williamson) have been part of all three years – 20 years since they’ve been to the playoffs, winning the area for the first time in 31 years. Now, let’s start winning a bunch of them.”

The Indians trailed going into the seventh after Weaver took a 4-3 lead with two runs in the home sixth. They sent 14 batters to the plate in the inning and had seven hits, three walks and an error.

Baylee Graham had two hits in the inning, including a two-run single, and Grayson Alward had two RBI singles in it.

Up to that point, Weaver pitcher Dalton Hamby had held them to seven hits.

In the first game they snapped a 2-2 tie in the fifth with Ben Glass’ RBI single and Cade Williamson’s pinch-hit sacrifice fly. They added three more runs in the sixth.

Larry Noah had three hits in the game and was 5-for-9 in the doubleheader. Glass drove in four runs in the two games.

Now, Weaver and Wellborn have to play to determine the second playoff team from the area.

“It’s been a tough season because we fought injuries early, we fought sickness early, and we fought injuries all through the season with our starters,” Jennings said. “This team has probably been the most fun team I’ve ever coached because they play together. They just get after it. It’s been a tough season; the most rewarding season, no doubt. I just hope we can keep it going.”

Piedmont 10-7, Glencoe 2-0: The Bulldogs clinched the Class 3A Area 10 title with the 10-2 win, then added a exclamation point with a three-pitcher, one-hitter in the nightcap.

Taylor Morrow hit a grand slam to give the Bulldogs an 8-1 lead in the third inning and Nick Johnson hit a solo homer in the fourth. T.J. Fairs went 3-for-3 in the game.

In the nightcap, Morrow, Johnson and Solomon Doss held the Yellow Jackets to a leadoff single by Cam Harris in the fifth inning. The Bulldogs had only two hits in the game themselves, but took advantage of nine walks and six errors to score six unearned runs

White Plains 6-7, Cherokee County 0-3: The Wildcats stayed alive in the Class 4A Area 12 playoff race with their sweep of the Warriors.

Andrew Cronan pitched a six-hit complete-game shutout in the opener. Braxton Dopson went 3-for-3 with two RBIs and Andrew Norred had a pair of hits. The Warriors never got a runner past second base in the game and had only two runners reach scoring position with less than two outs.

In the nightcap the Wildcats erupted for four runs in the first inning and stretched their lead to 6-1 after three innings. Matthew Clay gave them another complete game, allowing only three hits. Clay went 2-for-3 in the game with two RBIs and Brenan Roper had two hits.

“That was big for the kids,” Wildcats coach Wes Henderson said. “They have fought hard this year and it hasn’t gone exactly according to plan. They showed a lot of heart tonight. They played with intensity for 14 innings. We’ve been searching for a clean defensive game and we got two of those tonight.”

Spring Garden 9-1, Donoho 3-6: The Panthers won the series and clinched the Class 1A Area 10 title with their win in Game One, but Donoho salvaged a split of the doubleheader behind a combined no-hitter by Charlie Williamon and Slade Haney in the five-inning nightcap.

Riley Austin went 2-for-2 with two RBIs for Spring Garden in the opener. Hall Billings had two hits for Donoho in Game One. The Falcons broke open the nightcap with a five-run fifth; Billings had a two-run triple in the uprising and Haney had a two-run double.

Hokes Bluff 3, Jacksonville 0: The Eagles scored three runs in the first inning and Caleb McGinnis and Westin Ball made them stand by combining to shut out the Golden Eagles on three singles.

Wellborn 9, Pleasant Valley 5: The Panthers came from behind twice in the first innings to claim their fourth win of the season and third in the last seven games. They tied the game with three runs in the third inning, then when PV retook the lead in the fourth answered with four runs in the bottom of the inning to take the lead for good.

Jackson Connell led the Panthers with three hits and three RBIs, including a two-run double that capped the fourth-inning rally, and pitched a complete game. Jett Smith, Devin Brown, Dylan Grubbs and Evan Beadles all had a pair of hits.

Drew Bonds homered for PV. He had two hits, as did Triston Salster and Austin Johnson. Nic Smith went 3-for-4.

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