E.A. Sports Today

Morrison sharp again

Baseball roundup: Heflin’s Morrison no-hits Alexandria; PV, Weaver get explosive doubleheader sweeps

Weaver’s Austin Bryant threw a complete game in Thursday’s opener against Wellborn. (Photo by B.J. Franklin). To see more photos from the game visit www.bjfranklin.smugmug.com.

Thursday’s games
Clay Central 14, Randolph County 4
Cleburne County 2, Alexandria 1 (8)
Pell City 4, Munford 3
Pleasant Valley 26-6, Saks 8-5
Weaver 4-18, Wellborn 1-6

By East Alabama Sports Today

Reese Morrison went to Cleburne County coach Jordan Fuller after warming up in the bullpen and calmly told his coach he had this. Then he went out and got it.

The junior right-hander was part of his second no-hitter of the season Thursday night – this time going the distance – in a 2-1, eight-inning victory over Alexandria in a classic pitching duel with summer-ball teammate Jalen Borders.

“I can’t explain it, I was just ready,” Morrison said. “I told coach today I was ready to pitch the whole game if you needed it, you don’t have to worry about anything.”

The only run Morrison allowed came in the eighth inning when Jared Ponder drew a one-out walk, moved up on a ball in the dirt and scored on an infield error. The Tigers won the game in the bottom of the inning on an RBI triple by Devin Hicks and Porter Embry’s bases-loaded walk-off single.

With scouts from Auburn and Jacksonville State in the stands, Morrison struck out 14 and walked five. He was so sharp he threw 71 of his 107 pitches for strikes. Until the eighth inning he had allowed only two runners in scoring position and none beyond second base.

“He’s a warrior on the mound,” Fuller said. “When he takes the ball when he’s on the hill he’s in complete control.

“That was a really, really good lineup we played today. They’re the No. 2 seed in the Calhoun County Tournament. They’re a really good baseball team. He was able to 14 of them. He was pretty much in control the whole way through.”

It was the second no-hitter Morrison was a part of this season. He combined with Austin Benefield on a 1-0 no-no against White Plains in the season opener. Morrison has given up only two singles in 21 innings this season (four appearances) with 40 strikeouts. Of his 325 pitches, 199 have been for strikes. His ERA is now 1.33.

“I just wanted to win really bad,” Morrison said. “There were some scouts here and I just wanted to pitch really well in front of them, let a bunch of blood flow and pitch well. I really wasn’t thinking no-hitter. I was just pitching and wanted to win really bad.”

Borders was equally impressive for Alexandria. The left-handed Belmont signee pitched the first six innings, giving up two hits and striking out 10.

Alexandria 000 000 01 – 1 0 0
Cleburne Co.000 000 02 – 2 5 1
WP: Morrison. LP: Brown. 2B: Humphries (CC). 3B: Hicks (CC).

PV sweeps Saks

JACKSONVILLE – Garrett Cranmer had a big doubleheader as the Raiders won both ends to complete a sweep of their opening area series.

Cranmer had five RBIs in the 26-8 Game One slugfest and then hit a walk-off triple with one-out in the bottom of the seventh to win the nightcap 6-5. Dalton Page had two hits and four RBIs in the first game and Skyler Mcleod went 3-for-4 with three RBIs.

Saks scored four runs in the first inning of both games, but the Raiders rallied. They answered in the first game with five in the bottom of the first, then turned it into a rout with 11 runs in the second and nine in the third. They sent 17 batters to the plate in the second (12 of the first 13 reached base) and 15 batted in the third.

The Raiders chipped away in the nightcap, finally tying it in the sixth on an infield error and winning in the seventh when Cranmer tripled home Alex Parris.

“The guys did a great job the first game of attacking,” PV coach Chris Youngman said. “We came into the second game a little too relaxed and fell behind … but we showed resilience and fought our way back and gave ourselves a chance to win.

“Garrett has been seeing the ball really well and he stepped up to the plate and came through with a big hit. Once he hit it I knew with the speed of Alex we’d have a chance to end it and we were able to finish and get a big win.”

Pleasant Valley 26, Saks 8
Saks 400 31 – 8 9 6
PV 5(11)9 1x – 26 15 6
WP: Johnson. LP: H. Mcleod. 2B: Cranmer (P), Johnson (P), Salster (P), Page (P). 3B: Jairrels (S)

Pleasant Valley 6, Saks 5
Saks 400 100 0 – 5 8 4
PV 120 011 1 – 6 7 3
WP: Upton. LP: Martin. 2B: H. Mcleod (S), Childs (S), Fields (S), S. Mcleod (P), Mickler (P). 3B: Cranmer (P).

Weaver sweeps, wins series

The Bearcats bounced back from a disheartening series opener to sweep the doubleheader 4-1 and 18-6 and win the area series.

Jackson Williams’ two-run double highlighted a three-run fourth inning and Austin Bryant threw a complete game as Weaver won the first game. The Bearcats erupted for 13 runs in the first inning of the nightcap.

Williams’ big hit opened the scoring and he scored on Dylan DeLoach’s RBI double. Bryant made it stand by allowing five hits and an unearned run and struck out seven.

DeLoach, Bryant and Colby Thompson all had two hits for Weaver. JoJo Wyatt went 2-for-3 for Wellborn.

In the second game, Weaver sent 17 batters to the plate in the  first inning with the first 16 reaching safely. Moncus had a pair of two-run doubles in the inning, while Taylor Thompson and Austin Bryant both had two-run doubles. Colby Thompson and Bryant both went 3-for-4 in the game.

Weaver 4, Wellborn 1
Weaver 000 310 0 – 4 8 0
Wellborn 000 100 0 – 1 5 0
WP: Bryant. LP: Wyatt. 2B: Williams (Wea), DeLoach (Wea).

Weaver 18, Wellborn 6
Weaver (13)00 41 – 18 17 0
Wellborn 010 05 – 6 5 1
WP: DeLoach. LP: Beadles. 2B: T. Thompson (Wea), Moncus (Wea) 2, Bryant (Wea), C. Thompson (Wea), Dempsey (Wel), Wyatt (Wel). 3B: Calhoun (Wea).

Vols stay unbeaten

LINEVILLE – Noah Higgins’ three-run double highlighted a six-run first inning that carried the Volunteers to their eighth straight win, 14-4 over Randolph County. Boyd Ogles, Carter Young and Dustin Bickerstaff all had a pair of hits for the Vols (8-0). Ogles and Beck Freeman drove in a pair of runs. Tanner Hurst gave up three hits, one earned run and struck out six in 5 2/3 innings to get the win.

Randolph Co. 010 102 – 4 3 4
Clay Central 613 004 – 14 12 4
WP: Hurst. LP: Barnes. 2B: B. Ogles (C), C. Ogles (C), Higgins (C), Yates (C), Freeman (C).

Panthers hold off Munford

MUNFORD – Pell City jumped out to a 4-0 lead after five innings, then withstood Munford’s comeback bid to win 4-3. Munford made it a one-run game with a three-run sixth on RBI singles by Drew Harkins and Jakobe Threat and Hayden Bolt’s steal of home, but Drew Wilson put the Lions down in order in the seventh.

Pell City 101 020 0 – 4 4 0
Munford 000 003 0 – 3 6 0
WP: Sweatt. LP: Brasher. 2B: Hathorn (P), Green (M).

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