E.A. Sports Today

Billings sharp

Donoho right-hander gives up leadoff double and nothing else in Falcons’ 10-0 area win over Coosa Christian

Monday’s games
Donoho 10, Coosa Christian 0
Ragland 12, Winterboro 5
By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today
Donoho senior Hall Billings was so efficient Monday he could have thrown all seven innings against Coosa Christian if the game went that far and then some.
But the tenth-ranked Falcons have bigger fish to fry later this week and Billings came out after his sharpest five innings of the season. And he was OK with that.
The right-hander gave up a leadoff double on a fastball that tightened his focus and then retired the next 15 batters he faced – all on 53 efficient pitches – as the Falcons blanked the Conquerors 10-0 in six innings and 80 minutes.
He was only going to throw 75 pitches anyway, but the 53 he got away with Monday will allow him to start Thursday’s potential area clinching game at No. 4 Spring Garden with little impact on his arm.
“Today was a great day,” Billings said. “I found my curveball, threw it for a lot of strikes. I tried to get ahead on that first pitch because I could see they were a little timid so we wanted to attack that right away.
“I knew we had a big area game coming up on Thursday so I had to be efficient. That’s the mindset I need more often, I guess. This week is a huge week for us to decide how we do in the playoffs. That was just more motivation for me to do my best.”
Billings threw 16 pitches in the first inning when he had his only three-ball counts of the game (and got both those hitters out) and only 37 the rest of the way. He threw 40 strikes and got first-pitch strikes on 13 of the 16 hitters he faced.
“He’s always been a strike thrower,” Donoho coach Steve Gendron said. “In the past two years he has not only thrown harder but through his work ethic off the field he’s developed his secondary pitches better … and can throw them to strike people out.
“He does a good job. He knows what he’s doing. There’s only a couple times in a game when I’ll say why did we throw that pitch. He does a very good job.”
The Falcons (9-3, 5-0) supported Billings with three two-run homers. Payne Golden hit one in the first inning to open the scoring, Jase Alderman hit one in the second to make it 6-0 and Willamon hit one in the sixth to make it 9-0.
Golden had three hits and three RBIs. Alderman went 3-for-3 with two RBIs and was a triple shy of hitting for the cycle. Tyler Allen’s bases-loaded walk in the sixth ended the game.
Golden’s homer was a prodigious shot on a hanging curve that reached the guardrail on Henry Road high above the left field fence. It was the first homer of the junior’s varsity career.
“That ball was well hit,” Gendron said.
“It felt amazing,” Golden said. “I haven’t been hitting super great to start the year and … to be able to do that felt really good. I’ve been swinging down a lot this season and to actually be able to have a home run swing helped do that.”
Cover photo by B.J. Franklin.
Coosa Christian       000 000 – 0 1 2
Donoho                       240 013 – 10 11 0
WP: Hall Billings. LP: Carston Lipscomb. 2B: Karter Roberts (CC), Jase Alderman (D), Hall Billings (D). HR: Payne Golden (D), Jase Alderman (D), Reid Willamon (D).

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