E.A. Sports Today

Baseball roundup

Piedmont sweeps the day, remains undefeated to position itself for No. 1 in Sunday’s county tournament seeding meeting; will be updated

Saturday’s scores
Alexandria 3, Cleburne County 0
Alexandria 11, Munford 6
Cedar Bluff 15, Cherokee County 0
Chelsea 10, Oxford 0
Faith Christian 11, Gaston 7, 8 inn.
Faith Christian 14, Gaylesville 2
Hokes Bluff 8, Pleasant Valley 2
Munford 17, Cleburne County 7
Oak Mountain 8, Oxford 3
Ohatchee 8, Weaver 4
Piedmont 18, Cedar Bluff 9
Piedmont 20, Cherokee County 4
Ragland 12, Jacksonville Christian 2
White Plains 10-2, Glencoe 8-12 

By East Alabama Sports Today
CENTRE – Matt Deerman isn’t going to lobby for it, but his Piedmont baseball team strengthened their case to carry the No. 1 seed out of Sunday’s county tournament seeding meeting after blasting two more opponents Saturday.
The Bulldogs may have had issues in the field, but their hitting and pitching remained spot on as they pounded Cedar Bluff 18-9 and Cherokee County 20-4 to remain undefeated three weeks into the season.
They pounded 35 hits in the two games and their pitchers allowed only five hits, four earned runs and striking out 14. The 13 errors charged to them in the two games look ugly, but there were reasons for that.
In the Cedar Bluff game, Ethan Swinford went 3-for-3 with three RBIs, while six other Bulldogs had two hits each, including Brant Deerman and Sean Smith, who both homered.
In the Cherokee County game, Deerman went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, Jack Hayes went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Smith and Silas Thompson drove in three runs each.
The Bulldogs (7-0) have outscored their opponents 95-28 through the first seven games this season.
“For the most part we’ve been strong offensively every game,” Deerman said. “We’ve been really solid on defense, but today was one of those days we moved a lot of people around and played a couple of them out of position to play a lot of guys and we got out of rhythm and made a lot of uncharacteristic errors. And we’ve got three or four guys on the mound who have separated themselves from everybody else.
“I like where we are right now. We’re in as good a position as this team has ever been. Basketball is always making a deep run and at times it has put us behind the eight-ball. I think this team has progressed as good or better than anything we’ve had since I’ve been coaching baseball. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. This team has matured faster than others.”
The Bulldogs should get strong consideration for their first No. 1 county tournament seed in Deerman’s tenure at Piedmont and maybe ever. They’re 7-0 overall, 2-0 within the county. They’ve beaten Alexandria, the presumptive No. 2 seed; 4A Jacksonville, maybe the No. 5; and 6A Pell City the other day at Jacksonville State. The closest game they’ve played all year was their 7-5 win over Alexandria, and that was 7-1 in the sixth; two other attempts to play a second game with the Valley Cubs were postponed due to weather.
Deerman sees doing well in the county tournament as a matter of pride and a big event for the players. He’s more concerned about the area series they’re scheduled to play with Pleasant Valley and Saks on either side of tournament that starts at the end of the week. Still, a No. 1 seed would be a nice tip of the cap for their current body of work.
“I think we probably deserve consideration for it, but then Oxford has won this how many times in a row now,” Deerman said. “However it goes tomorrow we’ll let the coaches decide that.
“If the coaches see it that way, that’s the way it’ll be. I’m not going to go in there begging to be the No. 1. As our coach, I think we deserve consideration for our body of work – we play a quality schedule and are undefeated – but whatever happens happens.”
Piedmont             364 43 – 20 19 5
Cherokee Co.       200 20 – 4  3 5
Piedmont             048 303 0 – 18 16 8
Cedar Bluff          004 203 0 – 9 2 7

Alexandria 3, Cleburne County 0: Mitch Welch and Landon Comer scattered five hits and struck out 13 in the shutout and Jacob McCulley went 3-for-3. Welch worked the first five innings and struck out 10, including the side in order in the first on 11 pitches. McCulley scored the first run of the game on an error in the third and singled home Adam Young with an insurance run in the fourth. Young scored the third run on a passed ball in the sixth.
Alexandria 11, Munford 6: The Valley Cubs (5-3) answered Munford’s two runs in the first with five in the home half of the inning and never looked back. Their first eight batters reached safely. Cade Shaddix and Seth Slaton drove in runs with bases-loaded walks, Ben McNew brought one home on an fielder’s choice, Landon Comer had a sacrifice fly and another run scored on an error.
Munford 17, Cleburne County 7: Jayce Harris and Corbin Smith had three hits apiece to lead the Lions’ 19-hit attack. Jakobee Threatt got it going with a three-run homer in the first and the Lions scored 13 runs in the first two innings. Dwight Moore, Graham Callahan and Caleb Watts had two hits apiece. Austin Benefield (three hits) and Porter Embry both had a pair of doubles for Cleburne County.
Cleburne Co.      000 000 0 – 0 5 1
Alexandria         001 101 x – 3 6 1
Munford              670 300 1 – 17 19 3
Cleburne Co.      002 410 0 – 7 13 2
Munford                201 000 3 – 6 7 12
Alexandria           520 112 x – 11 7 7
Faith Christian 11, Gaston 7: The Lions won it with four runs in the top of the eighth on back-to-back RBI doubles by Colton Pahman and Andrew Folsom, an RBI triple by Brady Whitworth and a run-scoring single by Josh Rutledge. Pahman’s double, on a payoff pitch, was a shot to deep center and broke the 7-7 tie.
The lead changed hands four times in the game. Faith tied it in the top of the seventh on Whitworth’s two-out single and third baseman Austin Elliott cut down the potential winning run at the plate before Alex Almanza got the final out with another potential winning run at third. Almanza pitched the final 2 2/3 innings behind starter Pahman.
Pahman went 4-for-5 with four RBIs. Folsom and Rutledge had three hits each.
“He’s been coming up big in close games and had big hits today to keep us in it,” Lions coach Jason Pahman said of his son.
Faith Christian 14, Gaylesville 2: Starting pitcher Brodie Dodson went 4-for-4, including two hits in the Lions’ seven-run fourth, and Josh Rutledge had three RBIs. Rutledge singled home two in a four-run first and had an RBI single in the fourth. Dodson pitched the first four innings, giving up three hits and striking out six.
The sweep got the Lions (5-2) to five victories for the season, the most since at least 2014. They dedicated the day to Reed Power, a former Gadsden State basketball player from Loganville, Ga., who was paralyzed in a car wreck three years ago Feb. 26 and was made an honorary assistant coach after visiting the Lions before the season. He faces a major surgery next week that will require a long rehab.
“He’s been an inspiration for our team as he’s fought and overcome adversity in his life and still through it all trusts the process,” Lions coach Pahman said. “We wanted to get these wins today for him to encourage him to keep fighting and get through this tough time.”
Faith Christian   112 101 14 – 11 16 1
Gaston                   040 102 00 – 7 16 1
Gaylesville           000 20 – 2 5 0
Faith Christian   421 7x – 14 12 0
Ohatchee 8, Weaver 4: The Indians scored three runs in the top of the first inning with only one hit and never lost the lead. Blake Ogle and Trey Pesnell both hit two-run doubles in the sixth. Konnor Baswell and Jake Roberts held Weaver to four hits. Weaver pitcher Austin Bryant struck out 11 in the loss.
Ohatchee              300 014 0 – 8 5 4
Weaver                  110 002 0 – 4 4 2
Hokes Bluff 8, Pleasant Valley 2: The Raiders manufactured a run in the top of the first, but the Eagles tied it in the bottom of the inning and added runs in each of the next four innings. Drake Hardy drove home PV’s other run with a solo homer in the seventh.
Pleasant Valley    100 000 1 – 2 4 4
Hokes Bluff           121 310 x – 8 7 1
Chelsea 10, Oxford 0: Chelsea’s Connor Ball held the Yellow Jackets to Wesley Miller’s third inning single that broke up his perfect game, a fourth-inning walk to Trey Higgins and struck out 11. The Hornets broke open the game with a seven-run fifth inning.
Oak Mountain 8, Oxford 3: Oak Mountain broke a 2-2 tie with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth after Oxford’s Trey Higgins tied the game with a two-run homer in the top of the inning. Wesley Sparks singled home the Jackets’ other run in the fifth, his second hit of the game, but the Eagles got the run back in the bottom of the inning and then added three insurance runs in the sixth.
Oxford   000 000 – 0 1 3
Chelsea  010 072 – 10 9 0
Oxford                  000 210 0 – 3 5 1
Oak Mountain    200 213 x – 8 11 0

Ragland 12, JCA 2: Sloan Phillips was 4-for-4 with three RBIs, Josh Phillips was 3-for-4 with two RBIs and he allowed the Thunder just one hit – a fifth-inning RBI double by Cam Moses – for the Purple Devils. The Thunder did draw eight walks. Ragland took the lead in the third inning and broke it open with a seven-run fifth.
JCA                           010 010 – 2 1 4
Ragland                  003 171 – 12 8 3

White Plains 10-2, Glencoe 8-12: Conner Coffey went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and Ben Rouse drove in four with two doubles and were White Plains’ two pitchers in the opener. The Wildcats were held to just one hit by Nolan Fairley in the nightcap – Coffey’s single in the first. Carson Wright chased home a second-inning run in the game with a ground out to second.
White Plains        004 041 1 – 10 8 8
Glencoe                 004 030 1 – 8 4 5
White Plains        110 000 – 2 1 5
Glencoe                 400 026 – 12 5 4

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