E.A. Sports Today

Dramatic Donoho

Billings’ bomb in seventh gives Falcons 4-3 walk-off win over White Plains; Faith wins seventh straight

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Judson Billings couldn’t wait to get to the plate in the seventh inning.

In the bottom of the sixth as Donoho was moving through the order looking to score the go-ahead run the junior first baseman just felt if the Falcons got to his spot in the lineup he was going to drive the ball a long way.

But the inning ended with Billings in the on-deck circle and it only made him more excited to lead off when the Falcons came in from the field.

Everyone on the Falcons side of the stands sensed what was coming. Billings drove the first pitch he saw over the centerfield fence for his first high school home run to give the Falcons a 4-3 walk-off win over White Plains. It was Billings’ first walk-off at-bat since a bases-loaded walk he drew in 11U.

“It’s kind of crazy,” Billings said. “The guys in the dugout said when I was going up to bat you can end it right now and I just went up there and hit the ball and it was over.

“I’m sure everyone in the stands was calling that – my dad, my grandmother, everyone called it. It was like if I didn’t do it everybody would be disappointed.”

Billings went 4-for-4 in the game with three RBIs. He also had an RBI double in the first, an RBI single in the third and a single in the fifth.
“Judson had good at bats all day,” Donoho coach Steve Gendron said. “Spring break he was seeing the ball well. He hit a couple balls hard earlier in the game and then they brought in Tyler Daniel, who has a little more velocity than the lefty they were throwing. He put a nice swing on it and hit a missle.”

Interestingly, the game started and ended with a home run. White Plains’ Jaden Chatman led off the game with a homer to left and the Wildcats scored three in the top of the first.

But Donoho freshman Will Folsom buckled down and gave up only four more hits until hitting his pitch limit with two outs in the bottom of the seventh and White Plains threatening. Slade Haney got the final out on four pitches and, thanks to Billings’ bomb, the win.

“I want to give props to Will,” Billings said. “He pitched so good. I never seen him throw like that. It was some of the best pitching I’ve seen from a ninth-grader.”

“The first inning everything he was leaving up in the zone and they hit a couple balls hard on him,” Gendron said. “I told him if you leave it up in the zone they’re gonna hit it in the trees all day.

“We started flipping some curveballs in there the next time through and kept them off balance. He’s been working on his curveball and today it as very good. He had the ability to throw it as a strike and a strikeout pitch.”

Chatman, Miles Austin and Carson Wright each had two hits for White Plains. 

White Plains       300 000 0 –  3 8 4
Donoho                 101 100 1 –  4 7 1
WP: Slade Haney. LP: Tyler Daniel. 2B: Miles Austin 2 (WP), Tyler Daniel (WP), Nick Thompson (D), Judson Billings (D). HR: Jaden Chatman (W), Judson Billings (D).

Faith Christian 13, Talladega 1: Andrew Folsom hit a three-run homer and drove in five runs and three pitchers combined on a five-inning one-hitter as the Lions won their seventh straight. Brodie Dodson, Brady Whitworth and Colton Pahman had three hits each for Faith. 

Dodson pitched the first three innings and retired all nine batters he faced on 29 pitches with eight strikeouts. He came within one pitch of an immaculate inning in the second and two of one in the third.

Talladega             000 10 –   1   1   3
Faith Christian   431 50 – 13 16  0
WP: Brodie Dodson. LP: Jace Dandridge. 2B: Colton Pahman (F), Brady Whitworth (F), Andrew Folsom (F), Keith Emerson (F). HR: Andrew Folsom (F).

Sardis 8, Pleasant Valley 2: The Lions put together four singles and an error to score three runs in the fourth inning and break a scoreless tie. PV cut its deficit to 5-2 in the sixth on Dalton McElroy’s two-out, two-run single.

Sardis                    000 320 3 – 8 8 1 
Pleasant Valley 000 002 0 – 2 5 4
WP: Carson Gillilan. LP: Nolen Wright. 


Ohatchee 15, Wellborn 4: Alyssa Davis had three hits, including a homer, and drove in five runs and Hanna Fitch and Kylee Barnes combined for the win in the circle, giving coach Kendall Poe career win No. 102.

Fitch, Anna Bryant and Ella Whitehead all had two hits for Ohatchee. The Lady Indians jumped out to a 6-0 lead, then scored three in the fourth after Wellborn cut the margin to 6-4.

It was the Lady Indians’ first game back since the tornado ripped through their community, claiming three members of softball player Ontarriah Braxton’s family and injuring her.

“We didn’t know if we’d be coming back to school yesterday and when we got word we would be we knew we’d be having that game,” Ohatchee coach Kendall Poe said. “I was excited for them to blow off some steam, but at the same time I was worried how we were going to get them focused.

“They used it exactly how we wanted. I told them we’ve had a rough couple weeks in Ohatchee. Everything we do from here on out is dedicated to the town and the community and that’s exactly what they did.”

Alexandria 8, Cleburne County 1: Jill Cockrell and Ashley Phillips had three hits apiece and the Lady Cubs jumped out to a 5-1 lead after two innings. Cockrell, Chloe Gattis and Addie Jennings drove in two runs apiece for the Lady Cubs. Makenna Prickett pitched a complete game. Karley Boyd hit a solo homer in the first for Cleburne County’s only run.

Spain Park 15, Oxford 0: The Lady Jags scored in every inning and broke open the game with an 11-run third. The Lady Jackets had four hits. 


Kenny Okins defeated Hewitt-Trussville’s Ethan Hacker 5&3 at No. 1 to provide the tiebreaker in their championship match to win the inaugural Husky Match Play Invitational at Pine Tree CC.

The teams played to a 2.5-2.5 draw in the title match. Wesley Jenkins also won a point for the Wildcats at No. 2 and Payton Bradley halved his match at No. 4.

The Wildcats also beat Northridge (5-0) and Hartselle (3.5-1.5) in the tournament. Jenkins won all three of his matches, Austin Roberts went 2-1, Okins and Bradley went 2-0-1 and Gage Miller won a match.

The Wildcats are heavily favored to win this week’s Calhoun County Championship at Pine Hill CC.

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