E.A. Sports Today

Jairrels says no-no-no

Saks sophomore pitches his first varsity no-hitter in 10-0 win over Gaston; Piedmont, Southside get walk-off wins

Monday’s baseball scores
Munford 10, Alexandria 8
Piedmont 5, Westbrook Christian 4
Saks 10, Gaston 0
Southside 6, Jacksonville 5

By East Alabama Sports Today

Mason Jairrels should be brimming with confidence heading into Saks’ first playoff series in 12 years.

In his last start before a projected start in Saks’ upcoming playoff doubleheader at Piedmont, Jairrels threw his first varsity no-hitter in a 10-0 five-inning Senior Night victory over Gaston Monday night.

“The last time I threw a no-hitter I think was in (Dixie Youth) Ozone ball, 12 years old,” the Wildcats’ sophomore right-hander said. “That was a long time ago.”

Saks coach Wes Ginn had Jairrels on a 50-pitch limit so he could be as fresh as possible for Friday’s playoff series; which game he starts has yet to be determined. He was sitting on 44 pitches going into his last inning and finished it off with an immaculate inning (three strikeouts on nine straight strikes).

He allowed only three base runners – two via error and one on a fielder’s choice – and faced only one batter over the minimum as catcher Connor Martin threw out each of Gaston’s first two runners on the bases. He struck out nine.

He went to three balls to only the game’s leadoff hitter and had a two-ball count on only four total.

Jairrels pitched the first five innings in the Wildcats’ playoff-clinching victory over Weaver last week. After a rough start, he settled down and faced only one batter over the minimum over his final 4 2/3 innings, so he’s given up only one hit and seven base-runners over his last 9 2/3 innings.

“He’s pitched well all year,” Ginn said. “He’s had a couple games where he stated slow, other than that he’s pitched well all year. He’s really dialed in pitching right now. I hope he can maintain it for the weekend.”

Jairrels said he wasn’t aware of the no-hitter until it was over. When he got the final out, his teammates celebrated the feat and gave him the ball and a marker to commemorate the gem. 

“I wasn’t paying too much attention to how progressively the game was going,” he said. “It was more, ‘Are we in the lead?’, ‘Can we continue scoring?’, ‘Are we going to secure the game?’ I didn’t make it about me at all. I rely on my teammates a lot.”

And they helped him a bunch. In addition to Martin’s defense behind the plate, Rickey Garrett went 3-for-3 with two RBIs and Shon Elston went 2-for-2 with four RBIs. The Wildcats broke it open with a seven-run fourth that allowed Jairrels to close it out in the fifth.

Garrett had a two-run double and Elston had a two-run single in the big inning.

Piedmont 5, Westbrook Christian 4: Noah Reedy singled home Cassius Fairs with one out in the seventh to give the Bulldogs a walk-off win. Reedy was 2-for-4 in the game and combined with Fairs for 5 2/3 shutout innings of relief behind starter Jadon Calhoun. 

Both teams scored three in the first. Westbrook took a 4-3 lead in the second and the Bulldogs tied it on a dropped third strike passed ball in the fourth.

Southside 6, Jacksonville 5: Michael Rich singled home Aulden Battles with one out in the bottom of the seventh to give Southside a walk-off win. Jacksonville tied the game in the top of the inning on Dakoda Willingham’s sacrifice fly. Willingham went 2-for-3 with three RBIs for the Golden Eagles. JaeTaj Morris and Grant Patterson had two hits apiece. 

Munford 10, Alexandria 8: Brody Stephens homered and helped the Lions build a nine-run lead in the fourth inning. The Valley Cubs chipped away to get close, but freshman Alex Petty struck out three in the bottom of the seventh to earn the save.

Stephens and Connor Morgan each had three hits in Munford’s 16-hit attack. Ian Cartwright had three hits for Alexandria.

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