E.A. Sports Today

Big tourney win

Prep roundup: White Plains golf wins Blue-Gray Tournament on last shot; also includes baseball highlights
By East Alabama Sports Today
Gavin Burrage made a birdie putt on his last hole that felt like hitting a 3-pointer at the buzzer, Wesley Jenkins proved Samson can function well with short hair and both were crucial to helping the White Plains golf team win one of the most prestigious high school tournaments in the South.
The Wildcats came from eight shots back at the start of the final day to win the 24-team Blue-Gray Tournament at WynLakes Golf & Country Club Tuesday.
The Wildcats shot a final-round 308 for a two-day 628 team total and won by one shot over Enterprise. 
“It was a special two days,” White Plains coach Chris Randall said. “The thing about it is none of our guys finished in the top 10 individually, but we all finished between 11 and 20. Everybody did their job. Everybody competed.”
Although no one realized it at the time, the Wildcats won it when Burrage sank a slick 15-foot birdie putt on No. 1 with the team’s final stroke of the day. The senior, back on the course after skipping the season last year, shot 80 for the second day in a row.
“It was like being down two and hitting a 3 at the buzzer,” said Randall, also the Wildcats’ boys and girls basketball coach. “Before he teed off on that hole we talked about how a birdie would go a long way. I felt good when he made that putt.”
“It was definitely like hitting a basket at the last second,” said Burrage, an undersized but solid post on the basketball team. “It was a little bit downhill, but I didn’t want to miss short on a birdie, especially on the last hole, and I just firmed it. It’s a good feeling, especially since this is a pretty big tournament to win.”
Jenkins had the Wildcats’ low final round, a career tournament best 1-over-par 73. He had his mid-back length locks shorn over the weekend to look better at the coat-and-tie tournament banquet and donated the clippings to a Locks of Love type charity that creates hairpieces for childhood cancer patients.
He said the long hair never really bothered him with the rare exception of putting in a brisk wind. He only got it cut to look good in the suit.
“The last time I had short hair was like third grade,” he said. “I was pretty nervous sitting in the chair. I was hoping it’d look good. It looks good. I was pretty happy.”
Jenkins says he doesn’t feel any different with more than a little off the top, but others say it makes him look taller and older – to the degree a tournament competitor who had played with him in the past didn’t recognize him.
“He’d been talking about getting it cut,” Randall said. “I said, look, when Samson got his hair cut he shot 88; he made a couple double-bogeys when he had a haircut. It didn’t hurt (Jenkins’) strength.”
Jenkins’ round was nine shots better than his opening-round score. Interestingly, he and Burrage switched putters just prior to the round and both found success. Jenkins was headed for an even-par round until three-putting his last hole, No. 1, from about the same length as Burrage’s winning putt.
He started the day with eight straight pars and had three birdies and three bogeys on the back nine.
“He was really disappointed in himself after the first round … and he was bound and determined to have a great day; you could tell it in his eyes warming up,” Randall said. “He felt like he let his teammates down and came back with a totally different mindset.”
The Wildcats also counted a 74 from Andrew Miller in the final round. Gage Miller and Kenny Okins both shot 81. 


Saks 12, JCA 2: Jaylen Childs homered in his first two at-bats of the season as the Wildcats won in five innings. Childs hit a two-run shot in the first inning and a three-run shot in the second. He also pitched and gave up two hits and struck out eight. He fanned seven of the first nine batters he faced. Rickey Garrett and Hunter McLeod had doubles in the game for Saks. 
Alexandria 9, Piedmont 2: Jacob McCulley and Layton Ellison both had a pair of RBIs as the Valley Cubs completed a home-and-home sweep of Piedmont. Dylan Digangi picked up the win, allowing two hits over 3 1/3 innings and striking out six. The day before, Belmont signee Jalen Borders and Landon Comer combined on a 3-1 no-hitter.
Cleburne County 9, Ohatchee 7: Hunter Cavender and Devin Hicks each had two-run singles in a six-run sixth-inning Tigers rally. Reese Morrison also singled home a run in the inning and another run scored on an error. Morrison also pitched the seventh and got the save. Hicks and Austin Roberts had two hits each for the Tigers. Larry Noah had two hits and doubled home Ohatchee’s first run.

Clay Central 4, Handley 2: Boyd Ogles allowed one hit and struck out seven over 5 2/3 innings and the Vols improved to 4-0. Carter Young singled home the Vols’ first run in the first inning. Noah Higgins got the last five outs to record the save.

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