E.A. Sports Today

Valley Cubs join the fray

Two runs in the seventh and Comer on the mound pushes Alexandria past Oxford and into county final
By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today
JACKSONVILLE – Alexandria scored two runs in the top of the seventh and got another efficient outing from pitcher Landon Comer and edged second-seeded and four-time reigning champion Oxford 3-1 to reach the finals of the Calhoun County Baseball Tournament Tuesday.
The Valley Cubs, the third seed, will play undefeated and top-seeded Piedmont at 7 p.m. in the championship game at Jacksonville State.
Piedmont will be vying for its first ever county baseball tournament title. Alexandria was the last team not named Oxford to win the crown (2015).
Comer and Oxford starter Trey Mooney battled for six innings, but Comer went the distance. He allowed four hits and an unearned run in seven innings. He struck out five and walked none in throwing 87 pitches, and “I could’ve gone forever.”
He also made one of the game’s brilliant defensive plays when he snared Payton Watts’ sacrifice attempt out of the air and beat Trey Higgins back to third for an inning-ending double play.
Comer called it the best game he’s pitched this season.
“Oxford’s tough every year and those are my favorite games to pitch in, the toughest ones,” Comer said. “That’s what I’m here for. I’m here to throw in these big games.
“Competition wise, that’s probably the best game I’ve thrown all years. There’s always room to improve, but that was probably my best game so far.”
The game was tied 1-1 going to the seventh as both teams scored a run in the fourth. Cade Shaddix led off with a single and Oxford coach Wes Brooks replaced Mooney with Wesley Sparks.
Mooney retired the first nine Cubs in order before they reached him in the fourth. He gave up five hits, two earned runs and struck out six without allowing a walk. He threw 91 pitches.
Sparks hit the first batter he faced and Seth Slaton sacrificed both runners to second. Pinch hitter Ben McNew walked to load the bases at which time Brooks lifted Sparks for Hayes Harrison.
Austin West hit a roller to first that was fielded by Wesley Miller and Miller’s throw home pulled the catcher off the plate allowing pinch-runner Adam Young to score the go-ahead run. The Cubs added their second run when Connor Norris scored on Layton Ellison’s grounder to short.
Oxford put two runners on with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but Comer got out of it with a game-ending grounder back to the box. 
“He’s been like that for us all year,” Cubs coach Andy Shaw said. “He’s so efficient. He threw one the other day with 74 pitches. He’s so efficient, just gives us a chance to win.”

Alexandria           000 100 2 – 3 5 1
Oxford                  000 100 0 – 1 5 1
WP: Landon Comer. LP: Trey Mooney. 3B: Gavin Orcutt (O), Trey Higgins (O).

You must be logged in to post a comment Login