E.A. Sports Today

Weaver clinches playoff berth

Baseball roundup: Bearcats clinch Class 3A playoff spot with comeback against Saks;  JCA, Donoho pick up wins, Ohatchee blanked in big area series opener

Thursday’s scores
Donoho 17, Winterboro 2
Jacksonville Christian 12, Faith Christian 1
Lincoln 6, Cleburne County 2
Weaver 9, Saks 4 (8 inns.)
Westbrook Christian 5, Ohatchee 0
By East Alabama Sports Today
Weaver needed to win only one game from Saks this week to clinch a spot in the Class 3A playoffs. The Bearcats did it, but they did it the hard way.
They rallied from a 4-1 deficit against the Saks bullpen with three in the seventh and then scored five in the eighth to take a 9-4 victory that gave them back-to-back playoff berths for the first time in 12 years.
“The fact we’re in is huge,” Weaver coach Jamie Harper said. “It’s very rewarding for the guys to see them be able to compete at the highest level in their sport in the state. We plan on going and competing.”
The Bearcats will be the No. 2 team from 3A Area 9 and will travel to Winfield for their opening playoff series. Piedmont is the area’s No. 1.
Weaver never got going until late in the game after Saks starter Jaylen Childs had reached his pitch limit. Jaden Calhoun hit a two-run homer in the seventh to bring the Bearcats within one and then Devin Anderson stroked a single with one out to tie the game.
Their winning rally in the eighth started with back-to-back doubles by Drake Monroe and Taylor Thompson. Colby Thompson and Elijah Smith had RBI singles in the inning and Jackson Williams had a two-run single. Williams and Colby Thompson both went 3-for-4, while Austin Bryant and Monroe had two hits apiece.
“We did what we needed to do at the time we needed to do it and that says a lot about the resiliency of the kids,” Harper said. “We’re not deep like most 3A teams around here, but we have very skilled players in certain positions … There’s probably a game or two we lost we shouldn’t have, but for the most part they’ve played well together and well enough to get us where we are today and that’s competing in the state playoffs.”
Westbrook 5, Ohatchee 0: Samuel Dutton threw a complete-game shutout with 15 strikeouts as Westbrook won the first game in the 2A Area 10 championship series. The Indians now must sweep the remaining doubleheader for the area’s top billing and a first-round home playoff series; they’re already guaranteed a playoff spot. Andrew Dutton hit a three-run homer and John Ross Morgan had a solo shot.
Hokes Bluff 12, Cherokee County 11: The Eagles rallied from an 8-0 deficit with six runs in the sixth and then held off a threat in the seventh to win the Class 4A Area 4 title. White Plains was quite interested in the outcome of the game. The Wildcats have to complete a sweep against Jacksonville Thursday and need the Eagles to sweep Cherokee County to secure the second playoff spot from the area.
Donoho 17, Winterboro 2: Hall Billings went 5-for-5 with three RBIs, Reid Willamon had four RBIs and the Falcons broke open a game they already controlled with nine runs in the fifth inning. The first eight starters in the lineup had at least one RBIs. The first three – Billings, Willamon and Seth Ford – were a combined 8-for-13 with nine RBIs. Ford and Davis Jones combined to hold Winterboro to two singles.
JCA 12, Faith Christian 1: Nash Messer went 3-for-3 with three RBIs, Jonathan Carter drove in three runs with a pair of hits and Kobe Messer gave up two hits in a five-inning complete game for JCA. Kobe Messer also knocked in a pair of runs, while Jarrett Kilgore, Jeremy Cockrell and Tyler Doggrell each drove in a run.

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