E.A. Sports Today

Quick hands

Mohon’s quick hands help him hit grand slam, and Homesley’s quick glove earns him chance for game-ending double play as Piedmont sweeps Sylvania.

Cover photo: Piedmont’s McClane Mohon follows through on a hit during Thursday’s first-round Class 3A playoff series against Sylvania at Piedmont. His big day at the plate included a chance for two grand slams in one inning. (Photo by Joe Medley)

Thursday’s playoff results

Results from AHSAA baseball playoff series involving area teams:

University Charter (14-7) 11-17, Wadley (9-11) 1-0 (University Charter wins series 2-0)
Athens Bible (13-12) 7-12, Jacksonville Christian (10-12) 2-4 (Athens Bible wins series 2-0)

Plainview (24-7) 11-6, Walter Wellborn (7-19) 1-2 (Plainview wins series 2-0)
Piedmont (22-11) 8-17, Sylvania (10-16) 0-0 (Piedmont (22-11) wins series 2-0)

Etowah (19-12) 11-12, White Plains (11-20) 1-1 (Etowah wins series 2-0)

By Joe Medley
East Alabama Sports Today

PIEDMONT — Brodie Homesley showed cat-like reflexes and a healthy self-preservation instinct in Game 1 of Piedmont’s first round baseball playoff with Sylvania on Thursday.

McClane Mohon powered his way to a shot at a state record in the second inning of Game 2.

That about sums up the drama as Class 3A top-ranked Piedmont swept the Rams 8-0 and 17-0 at home, continuing momentum stemming from their rally against Etowah in the regular-season finale and earning a best-of-3 second-round series.

The Bulldogs (22-11) will either play host to sixth-ranked Decatur Heritage or go on the road to play Fayette County. Their first-round series starts Friday at Decatur.

Piedmont’s offensive eruption Friday followed the the Bulldogs’ rally from a 7-2 hole to force extra innings in an 8-7 loss to Etowah at home on Tuesday.

“We’ve had a lot of games like what happened in the Etowah game where we’ve been down and had a lot of fight at the end,” Piedmont coach Matt Deerman said. “What I told them, ‘If we’ll do that earlier in the game, we won’t put ourselves in such tough situations.’”

Message received.

Piedmont’s Brodie Homesley comes out of his windup against Sylvania during Thursday’s Game 1 of their Class 3A first-round playoff series at home. (Photo by Joe Medley)

Homesley pitched a two-hitter with five strikeouts in Thursday’s Game 1, and Trevor Pike had three of Piedmont’s seven hits with two runs and an RBI.

Cole Austin pitched a two-hitter with eight strikeouts in Game 2, and Mohon’ grand slam in was part of an 11-hit barrage.

Mohon went 4-for-6 with eight RBIs on the day. His grand slam was his first home run this season.

“It was pretty awesome,” he said. “I was staying line drive all day. I didn’t really think I was going to have the loft to get it, but I saw a fastball up and just sat back and hit it.”

His grand slam was the centerpiece of Piedmont’s 12-run second inning. He came up to bat a second time, also with bases loaded. 

Sylvania changed pitchers ahead of Mohon’s second at bat, with Brayden Fricks spelling starter Jordan Goza. Deerman, standing in the third-base coaching box next to Hayes Gunn, brought up Mohon’s chance for two grand slams in one inning.

“I wasn’t going to say it to McClane,” Deerman said. 

Word got to Mohon in the dugout, and he stood ready for his chance. 

“If I saw the pitch, then yes,” Mohon said. “I was really just thinking back side because he was throwing a little slower.”

Mohon popped to right field.

While Mohon had the hitting highlight of the day, Homesley had the fielding highlight in Game 1’s final sequence. He got his glove up in time to catch Jaxon Smith’s line drive back to the mound and, having saved his own life, threw to third base to double up Wynston Keith.

“I knew if I didn’t catch it, I was probably going to get hit in the teeth,” Homesley said. “It was luck. I’m not even going to lie.”

Luck and then a little something more.

Deerman, who was looking at the pitch radar, heard bat and glove smack.

“I heard it and turned around and looked, and saw him throw,” Deerman said. “I thought, ‘That’s what I thought it was, a shot right back at the pitcher.’

“It was a pretty good play to be able to recover and throw it over there.”

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