E.A. Sports Today

Raiders rolling

Baseball roundup: PV suns Piedmont, can control its own postseason destiny; includes scores and highlights from games involving teams in and around Calhoun County

Trey Mooney pitched into the seventh inning for Oxford Tuesday night and allowed only two hits. (Photo by B.J. Franklin)

Tuesday’s games
Cleburne County 9, Talladega 1
Donoho 12, JCA 0
Etowah 3, Alexandria 2
Hokes Bluff 8, White Plains 3
Lincoln 18-16, Anniston 0-1
Munford 7, Clay Central 6
Ohatchee 11, Ragland 10 (8 inns.)
Pleasant Valley 3, Piedmont 2 (8 inns.)
Ranburne 16, Woodland 4
Saks 10, Wellborn 2
Westbrook Christian 12, Gaston 0
Choccolocco Park Experience
Austin 9, Opelika 2
Oak Mountain 10, Boonville 0
Oak Mountain 6, Austin 1
Oxford 4, Albertville 1
Tuscaloosa County 11, Boonville 4
Tuscaloosa County 8, Opelika 1

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today
JACKSONVILLE – The Pleasant Valley Raiders have been working three years to get the kind of victory they won Tuesday.
The Raiders edged Piedmont in a meaningful regular-season game 3-2 when Ashton King raced home from second while the Bulldogs threw around Garrett Cranmer’s infield grounder with one out in the bottom of the eighth.
It gave them the upper hand in the pivotal series and the chance to control their own destiny in the Class 3A Area 9 race. If they win the first game of Thursday’s doubleheader at Piedmont they’ll win the series and have a good chance of winning the area; failing that, they can still leave town with the tiebreaker by winning the nightcap.
“Tonight was a big thing,” Raiders coach Chris Youngman said. “We’ve been trying to build this thing up going on three years now. A lot of our guys have been with us since we started this. We keep talking about great teams finish. When we got to the seventh we pulled them aside and said ‘great teams do what?’ and they said finish. Same thing for the eighth.
“That’s what we’ve been preaching I think in all of our sports, find a way to finish. We’re a program where we feel like we don’t necessarily get the respect that we felt like we’ve earned deserved sometimes, but honestly if we just control what we can control, attack success … we feel like we’ve got a real good chance of winning the ball game. Tonight, we proved that.”
The Raiders jumped out front 2-0 in the second on King’s two-run triple, but Piedmont rallied to tie it with Brant Deerman’s RBI double in the third and a passed ball in the fourth. It stayed tied until the Raiders walked it off in the eighth.
King led off the inning with a walk. He stole second and the Bulldogs intentionally walked Alex Parris to set up a force. They got Garrett Cranmer to hit a ground ball, but the Bulldogs misplayed it to load the bases.
King scored the game-winner when Deerman couldn’t handle Dalton Page’s grounder to second.
PV starter Jackson Almaroad pitched “very, very well” into the seventh inning, giving up five hits and striking out six. Triston Salster threw 1 1/3 innings of no-hit relief behind him to earn the win. Piedmont’s Logan Pruitt was the hard-luck loser, giving up three unearned runs and striking out nine in a complete game.
“Our guys did a great job of competing for what turned out to be eight innings,” Youngman said. “We’ve got a talented ball team and we feel like if we play to our capabilities and don’t beat ourselves it doesn’t matter who’s on the schedule we feel like we’ve got a chance to win.
“We’re trying to get to the point to where we don’t beat ourselves. We feel like right now we’ve got a good rhythm going. We’re starting to just have fun and play the game and control what we can control. Tonight’s one of those you can turn a program around.”

Pleasant Valley 3, Piedmont 2 (8 inns.)
Piedmont                   001 100 00 – 2 5 3
Pleasant Valley          020 000 01 – 3 5 0
WP: Triston Salster. LP: Logan Pruitt. 2B: Brant Deerman (P), Nick Johnson (P), Sean Smith (P). 3B: Ashton King (PV).

Reese Howard comes in to score in the sixth inning to give Oxford a 3-0 lead. (Photo by B.J. Franklin)

Oxford 4, Albertville 1
Trey Mooney gave up two hits and struck out nine in 6 2/3 innings and Jarin Turner came on in mid-count to get the final out as the Yellow Jackets won their area opener.
Mooney threw 99 pitches, 66 for strikes, gave up one run and walked one. Turner returned to the rotation after a week-long attention-getter and struck out the only batter he faced looking at four pitches to get the save.
The Jackets took the lead with a pair of two-out runs in the second. Chadd Adams scored the first run on Dawson Winningham’s ground single and Mooney doubled home Winningham. They added two insurance runs in the sixth on two runs in a run-roducing error and Peyton Howard’s RBI single.
Oxford 4, Albertville 1
Albertville      000 100 0 – 1 2 2
Oxford             020 002 x – 4 4 1
WP: Trey Mooney. LP: Jake McDaniel. S: Jarin Turner. 2B: Hayden Mann (A), Trey Mooney (O), Chadd Adams (O).
Ohatchee 11, Ragland 10
Ohatchee’s Cade Williamson raced home from third on an error by the catcher with two outs in the top of the eighth to break a 10-10 tie. 
Ragland rallied from a 10-4 deficit to force extra innings on Josh Phillips’ RBI single with one out in the seventh. The Purple Devils put two runners in scoring position with two outs in the eighth, but Larry Noah, the last of four Ohatchee pitchers, got out of it to secure the victory.

Grayson Alward went 3-for-4 with five RBIs for the Indians. Baylee Graham, Josh Lipham and Todd Dover had two hits apiece, and Devin Howell and Lipham each drove in two runs. Jalen Byers went 3-for-5 for Ragland.

Ohatchee 11, Ragland 10
Ohatchee        330 130 01 – 11 13 3
Ragland          021 123 10 – 10 10 3
WP: Larry Noah. LP: Travis Schall.  2B: Todd Dover (O), Josh Lipham (O), Grayson Alward 2 (O), Jalen Byers (R). 
Donoho 12, Jacksonville Christian 0
Hall Billings gave up one hit and struck out 12 for the Falcons. The only hit he allowed was Nash Messer’s leadoff double in the fourth, and then he struck out the side. He allowed only four baserunners.
Payne Golden was 2-for-3, Reid Willamon went 3-for-4 and both players drove in three runs for the Falcons. Davis Jones went 2-for-3 with two RBIs. The Falcons broke it open with a nine-run sixth inning.

Donoho 12, Jacksonville Christian 0
Donoho           012 009 – 12 11 1
JCA                  000 000 – 0 1 1

WP: Hall Billings. LP: Kobe Messer. 2B: Payton Golden (D), Nash Messer (J)

Carson Eubanks scores Hokes Bluff’s first run against White Plains.

Hokes Bluff 8, White Plains 3
Dylan Teague pitched a complete game and delivered a two-run double in the second inning that put the top-ranked Eagles ahead for good in the area game.
The teams traded runs in the first inning before the Eagles took the lead. They extended the lead with three in the fifth on Koby Addison’s RBI single, Payton Lemons’ bases-loaded walk and Hunter Burke’s run-scoring infield out.
Teague and Houston Edwards each had two hits for Hokes Bluff, Teague and Burke each had two RBIs.
Hokes Bluff 8, White Plains 3
Hokes Bluff    120 031 1 – 8 8 2
White Plains  100 002 0 – 3 6 5

WP: Dylan Teague. LP: Matthew Clay.  2B: Dylan Teague (H), Matthew Clay (W).
Cleburne County 9, Talladega 1
Austin Benefield struck out 13 in five shutout innings and Reese Morrison and Porter Embry homered to lead Cleburne County.
Benefield gave up four hits and walked three before giving way to Cole Spurlin and Hunter Cavender. Morrison hit a solo homer in the fourth inning and Embry hit an inside-the-park homer in the fifth.

Cleburne County 9, Talladega 1
Talladega       000 001 0 – 1 5 1
Cleburne Co.  200 322 x – 9 10 0

WP: Austin Benefield. LP: Deigo. 2B: Mack Humphries (C). 3B: Reese Morrison (C). HR: Reese Morrison (C), Porter Embry (C).
Munford 7, Clay Central 6
Payton Graben’s two-run single in the sixth inning gave Munford the lead and the Lions scored two in the seventh on a pair of errors then held on in the bottom of the inning.
Drew Harkins, Cannon Brasher and Graben all had two hits for the Lions; Graben and Carson Comer each drove in a pair of runs. Graben started on the mound and pitched into the seventh inning before Dakota Green got the final two outs
Munford 7, Clay Central 6
Munford         010 013 2 – 7 10 5
Clay Central   200 010 3 – 6 5 3
WP: Payton Graben. LP: Chip Ogles.

Lincoln 18-16, Anniston 0-1
Jarrod McBurnett threw a five-inning no-hitter with 12 strikeouts in the opener and Jordan New gave up one hit and an unearned run in three innings that was the nightcap to complete the sweep.
McBurnett retired the first nine batters he faced, seven by strikeout, and allowed four base runners. He walked the bases loaded with one out in the fourth, then got out of the jam by striking out the next two batters. New got seven strikeouts among his nine outs in the nightcap. He went 3-for-3 with four RBIs in the first game.
Game One
Lincoln 18, Anniston 0
Anniston         000 00 – 0 0 3
Lincoln            462 6x – 18 11 0
WP: Jarrod McBurnett. LP: Jalen Parker. 2B: Tristian Payton (L), Jack Wood (L). 3B: Jarrod McBurnett (L), Braxton Watson (L). 
Game Two
Lincoln 16, Anniston 1
Anniston         100 – 1 1 2
Lincoln            663 – 15 5 3
WP: Jordan New. LP: Jaylyn Ackles. 2B: Curt Cooper (L).  3B: Tristian Payton (L).

Trey Higgins (3) looks for a way to get back to third base during Oxford’s area opener against Albertville Tuesday. (Photo by B.J Franklin)

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