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2017-03-15 / Sports
J.B. Pennington wins Blount County Tournament
The Tigers had dropped some close games (6-5 to Fultondale, 8-7 to Hayden, 5-3 to Cleveland) and had been hammered in another (18-0 by Fairview), with only an 11-4 win over Southeastern providing a glimmer of what they were capable of.
Apparently, Curtis Alexander’s team put things together at the right time as the Tigers handled Locust Fork (12-0) and Hayden (6-3) to reach the championship game.
In the title game, the Tigers jumped out to a 7-0 lead after three innings and cruised to a 12-1 victory over Cleveland. J.B. Pennington 12, Locust Fork 0 (5 innings)
The Tigers scored six runs in both the second and third innings and rolled past the Hornets in the first round.
Pennington pounded out 11 hits with every starter getting at least one.
Luke Cassity (2 for 2, two doubles, two RBIs) and Nik Brown (2 for 2, RBI, two runs) paced the offense. Jaxon Bullard had a double and scored two runs while Ethan Williams and Roman Hopson each drove in two.
Jalon Bullard got the win and he was almost untouchable. In four innings, he gave up just three hits (all singles) and struck out four without walking a batter.
Williams finished up in relief and struck out two and walked two in one inning of work.
Locust Fork got hits from Logan Dyar, Asa Dodd and Ryan Cox. J.B. Pennington 6, Hayden 3
Pitching was the name of the game in round two and the Tigers had plenty.
Jalon Bullard got touched up for three runs – two earned – on three hits with a walk and a strikeout in his two innings of work.
Williams relieved and kept the 5A Wildcats at bay for the rest of the game. He got the win with five innings of relief and surrendered just five walks (no hits) and struck out four.
Hayden got three runs in the third inning – two on an RBI double from Duncan McReath – to take a 3-2 lead.
The Tigers trailed 3-2 until the fifth inning when the Tiger bats finally got going. The big blow in the four-run inning was a three-run double from Jacob Davis that effectively blew the game open.
Cade Timmerman (3 for 4, run) was the only Tiger to collect more than one hit. Davis had the three-run double and was also hit by a pitch twice.
McReath finished 2 for 3 with a double and two RBIs to lead the Wildcats. Preston Key (1 for 3, RBI, run) was the only other Wildcat to collect a hit. J.B. Pennington 12, Cleveland 1
The Panther had beaten the Tigers the week before but head coach Curtis Alexander felt good about his team heading into the championship game.
He had good reason to.
The Tigers used timely hitting and six Cleveland errors to get the win behind the dominant pitching of Luke Cassity.
Cassity went the distance and gave up just a single earned run on five hits with no walks and four strikeouts in shutting down a Cleveland team that was 6-2 entering the game.
Cleveland got a pair of hits from Everett Johnson and he scored the Panthers’ lone run on a single by Nathan Stephens.
J.B. Pennington (4-5) got a huge game on offense from Jalon Bullard, who finished 4 for 5 with a triple, four RBIs and three runs scored. Cassity helped his own cause with a 2-for-4 day that included a pair of doubles, and RBI and three runs scored.