Playoffs begin Friday


Appalachian’s Garrett Helms connects against West End. -Traci Price

Appalachian v Collinsville, L 5-8

Collinsville scored four runs in the sixth inning to take the lead and extended it with two more in the seventh as they beat the Eagles 8-5. The teams exchanged runs through the first four innings with Collinsville scoring once in the first and third and the Eagles in the second and fourth.

Caden Jones led off the second inning for the Eagles with a double on a line drive to left field. Joey Williams later doubled on a line drive to left to get him home. In the fourth inning, Chase Payne led off with a single and got to third on another Jones line drive to left field. Logan Baswell drove in Payne to even the score at 2-2.

The Eagles took the lead in the fifth with two runs. With Garrett Helms on first, Payne doubled on a grounder to left field to get Helms home. After Landon Snow and Williams each got hit with a pitch, the bases were loaded. Baswell, who watched two balls before getting hit by the third, advanced to first and brought Payne home.

Appalachian had one last chance in the bottom of the sixth inning. Payne walked to start off the inning, advanced to second on a passed ball, and scored on Jones’ grounder to left field. The Eagles got one more runner on, but couldn’t get anyone back home.

Baswell drove in two runs on one hit while Payne, Jones, and Williams each drove in one. Jones finished with three hits and one run, Payne with two hits and three runs, Helms with one hit and one run, and Williams with a hit. Payne started on the mound for the Eagles. He allowed three hits and two runs striking out 12 in four and two-thirds innings. Helms pitched one and a third giving up four runs on four hits. Jones closed out the game surrendering two runs on three hits.

Appalachian v West End, W 10-6

On Friday, the Eagles hosted the Patriots. Appalachian scored two runs in the first inning to take the lead and never looked back going on to beat the Patriots 10-6. Jones led the Eagles at the plate with four hits — a single in the first, a double in the second, and a single in both the fourth and fifth. He drove in four runs and scored once, too.

Appalachian added three runs in the second inning to extend their lead. After the Patriots scored two in the top of the fourth, the Eagles answered with two of their own in the bottom half of the inning. West End continued to rally scoring four in the top of the fifth to cut Appalachian’s lead to 7-6. But the Eagles added three in the bottom of the fifth and held on for the win.

Williams and Payne each drove in two runs on two hits with Payne scoring three runs. Bryson Seawright, Helms, Baswell, and Preston Martin each had two hits with Helms scoring twice and Martin once. Snow and Jaxon Hicks each had one hit to give the Eagles their 18th hit. Snow scored once, too.

Payne got the start for the Eagles. In five and a third innings, he gave up two runs on five hits while striking out 13. Helms came in to close the game giving up five hits and four runs.

As 1A Area 12 champions, the Eagles host the first round of playoffs. They’ll welcome Marion County Friday at 4:30 p.m. for the first game.

Cleveland v West End, L 4-9; L 3-6

The Panthers and Patriots wrapped up 2A Area 11 play in Cleveland last week with West End sweeping the Panthers in a double header. Despite outhitting the Patriots nine to eight in game one, the Panthers could not recover from an 0-7 deficit falling to West End 4-9.

Cleveland did chip away at the lead with one run in the fifth. After Brayden Painter led off with a single, he took advantage of some Patriot miscues to land at third. Kartar Adams got him home. The Panthers added another run in the sixth. Cade Wilson led that one off with a single and Bryson Browning came in as a courtesy runner. Browning stole second and then scored on Noah Longshore’s grounder to left field. Longshore picked up another RBI in the seventh driving in Wilson for the second time while Brody Gibson knocked in Kyle Willis.

Longshore’s three hits and two RBIs led the Panther’s at the plate. Brayden Painter finished with two hits and one run. Wilson and Willis each had one hit with one run while Jesus Elizarrarez and Gibson each had a hit. Gibson and Adams drove in one run apiece and Browning scored.

The Panthers used four pitchers. Ace Kon got the start giving up three runs on one hit through two innings. Jacob Johnson allowed four runs on two hits in one and a third innings. Lasting two and two-thirds, Wilson surrendered just two runs on four hits. Shaun Spencer closed out the game allowing only one hit.

In game two, the Panthers were down 0-6 after two innings. They cut the lead in half scoring three runs in the fourth, but couldn’t put any more runs on the board losing 3-6. Will Faust, Colby Peace, and Jacob Dutton each singled to start the fourth inning rally. Faust scored on Dutton’s hit and Peace scored on Kon’s groundout. Elizarrarez’s hard grounder to right field was deep enough to get Dutton home for the Panthers’ final run.

Elizarrarez and Dutton each drove in one run on one hit with Dutton also scoring a run. Kon collected one RBI. Robert Curiel finished the game with two hits while Faust and Peace finished with one hit apiece and each scored one run.

Starting for the Panthers was Jack Chaperon. In two-thirds of an inning he gave up seven runs on one hit. Longshore pitched two and a third innings giving up just two hits and one run. Painter allowed no runs or hits as he closed out the game.

Cleveland @ Victory Christian, W 15-2

The Panthers out hit Victory Chrisitan 14 to 4 in last Thursday’s 15-2 victory. Robert Curiel gave up two runs on four hits through four innings. Spencer closed out the game giving up zero hits and zero runs striking out one and walking one.

Cleveland put seven runs on the board in the first inning. Wilson drove in Adams and Jacob Johnson on a line-drive double to left field. Elizarrarez knocked in Wilson’s courtesy runner Browning. After Longshore reached safely, Willis drove them both in. Adrian Zavala’s outfield hit got Willis home and Zavala scored the final run of the inning reaching home on a Victory Christian error.

Five more runs were added in the third inning; three more scored in the fourth. Johnson and Wilson each drove in three runs; Elizarrarez and Willis each drove in two; and Longshore and Zavala each drove in one. Wilson led the Panthers at the plate with three hits. Adams, Elizarrarez, Longshore, and Zavala each collected two hits while Painter, Johnson, and Willis finished with one hit. Scoring the Panthers’ 15 runs were Painter, Travis Woodard, Longshore, Willis, and Browning with one; Adams and Elizarrarez with two; and Johnson and Zavala with three.

Cleveland @ Sumiton Christian, W 7-5

Friday night, the Panthers faced Sumiton Christian building a 6-0 lead through the first two and a half innings. Sumiton Christian almost erased that deficit as they scored five runs over the next three and a half innings. The Panthers held on, though, winning 7-5.

The Panthers scored one run in the top of the first. With two outs, Wilson drove in the first run when he singled on a line drive to right field sending Painter home. In the second inning, the Panthers added three runs to extend their lead. Woodard, who came in as a courtesy runner for Gibson, scored on a passed ball. Then with two outs, Johnson walked to load the bases with Adams on second and Painter on third. Elizarrarez landed on first after he was hit by a pitch. Painter moved home for the second run of the inning. After Sumiton changed pitchers, Wilson was beaned sending him to first and moving Adams home.

In the top of the third, the Panthers extended their lead scoring two more runs. Willis led off the inning advancing to first after he was hit by a pitch. After Gibson drew a walk, both runners advanced on a ground out from Zavala. Willis scored on a passed ball and Painter drove in Woodard who came in to run for Gibson. The Panthers’ final run came in the fifth. Willis led off the inning with a double to center field. Painter drove him in on a line drive to left field.

Gibson got the start for Cleveland on the hill. He gave up three hits and four runs striking out five through five innings. Zavala pitched the final two innings in relief. He allowed one run on two hits.

Painter and Wilson each drove in two runs while Elizarrarez drove in one. With two hits and two runs, Painter led the Panthers at the plate. Wilson, Willis, Gibson, and Luke McDowell all had one hit with Willis also scoring two runs. The remaining Panther runs came from Adams (one) and Woodard (two).

Cleveland v St. Clair County, L 0-12

The Panthers couldn’t get their offense going on Saturday as St. Clair County held them scoreless. In the 0-12 loss, the Panthers managed to get just one hit through six innings of ball. Wilson led off the second inning with a double on a hard grounder to left field.

St. Clair County scored two runs in the top of the first, two in the fourth, four in the fifth, and four in the sixth. They racked up 11 hits. Spencer took the loss for Cleveland giving up seven hits and eight runs through four innings. Longshore came in for the final two allowing four runs on four hits.

Hayden
by Jeffrey Williams
Hayden v Corner, L 2-5

Hayden entered their final Region 12 series of the season with a slim, one game lead over rival Corner. The Wildcats needed to win one game of the series to win the Region and host the first round of state playoffs. A tight game turned into a heartbreaker for Hayden, as they lost the lead late falling 2-5.

There wasn’t much in the form of base runners for either team through the first two and a half innings. In the bottom of the third, Trenton Sawyer hit a hard ground single into right field. Sawyer advanced to second on a passed ball. With the next two batters out, Carson Snow singled between third and short. Sawyer advanced to third and his attempt at home allowed Snow to advance to second. With Caden Mason at the plate, Sawyer scored on a passed ball for the game’s first run. Snow advanced to third and two pitches later he stole home on a wild pitch putting the Wildcats up 2-0. Mason later singled in the at bat, but didn’t make it any farther as the next batter grounded out to third. Corner produced one run in the top of the fourth.

Hayden struggled to produce base runners the rest of the game. In the top of the sixth, Corner scored two on a hotly contested runner interference play. They scored two more in the seventh to seal their 5-2 victory.

Cole Loftis took the loss for Hayden. The righty went one and two-thirds innings allowing four runs on two hits, striking out two, and walking three. Sammy Collins started the game for Hayden. The right hander lasted five innings allowing three hits and one run while striking out four and walking zero. Carson Snow came in to close out the game pitching for one-third of an inning.

The loss dropped Hayden’s record to 13-9 and 4-1 in Region 12 play, tied with Corner.

Hayden @ Corner, L 3-4; W 8-4

Thursday’s game at Corner was another heartbreaker for Hayden. They lost the lead late falling 3-4 in the deciding game for the winner of 5A Region 12.

The Wildcats started the game on fire as Snow singled on a hard ground ball into left field. Sawyer then sacrificed on a bunt to get Snow to second. On his first pitch, Mason singled into right center scoring Snow to put the Wildcats on the board. Then with two outs, Loftis hit a line drive double into right field. Loftis later scored when Collins hit a hard ground ball between the first baseman and the bag into the right field corner for a double of his own. Collins advanced no farther as Mason Mullaney hit a line drive caught by the shortstop for the third out. The Wildcats stood with a 3-0 lead.

Corner scored two in the bottom of the inning and one in the third to tie the game at 3-3. There were few chances for either team to score for the rest of the game.

In the fifth inning, Corner plated one run putting them up 4-3. In the top of the seventh, Hayden had the speedy Snow in scoring position on second base with one out. He didn’t advance as the next two batters produced outs to end the game.

Cole Loftis took the loss for the Wildcats. The righty went six innings allowing four runs on seven hits while striking out three and walking one. Hayden racked up six hits. Snow and Collins both had two hits to lead Hayden at the plate.

In what was to be a tiebreaker game if necessary, Hayden ran off with the lead late to notch an 8-4 victory over Corner. The second game of the double header was of no consequence to region play as Corner won the two games that counted.

Hayden got on the board early scoring two in the first when Snow and Mason scored on a single to left field by Cole Loftis. Corner took the lead in the bottom of the first scoring three of their own. They added one in the second to take a 4-2 lead. The Wildcats added two more in the fifth inning to tie up the game.

Then in the top of the seventh, the Yellowjacket pitching staff broke down. The first four Wildcat batters walked pushing Sawyer across the plate for the go-ahead score. The other three each scored on passed balls to push the Hayden lead to 8-4. Gabe Schnittker came in as Hayden’s relief pitcher and collected two strikeouts and a fly out to end the game.

Snow started on the mound and got the win for Hayden surrendering four runs on five hits over six innings and striking out six. Schnittker threw one inning in relief out of the bullpen.

The win brings Hayden’s season total to 14-10 and 4-3 in Region 12. The Wildcats will travel to Region 10 winner Leeds on Friday for a best of three series in the first round of the state playoffs.

Locust Fork
Locust Fork @ Appalachian, W 6-2

Locust Fork jumped out to a 3-0 lead on the road against the Eagles going on to win 6-2. Tucker Massey started for the Hornets. He allowed seven hits through seven innings striking out six while holding the Eagles to two runs. Williams started for the Eagles and took the loss. Through five innings, the Hornets scored five runs on eight hits. Jones closed out the game surrendering two hits and one run in two innings.

Dylan Taylor led off the game with a walk and scored the Hornets’ first run on Gavin Payne’s two-out hit. Lukas Huber scored on the same play. Zac Tarpley drove in Payne for the third Hornet score. The Hornets added one run in the fourth. Peyton Warren led off with a single on a line drive to second base; he later scored on Huber’s grounder to second.

In the top of the sixth, Locust Fork increased their lead to 5-0 on Huber’s infield hit that drove in Ben Oden. The Eagles finally got on the board in the bottom of the inning with two runs. Garrett Helms led off with a single on a ground ball to left field and scored on Payne’s two-run shot over the left field fence. The Hornets added one more run in the top of the seventh with Tarpley scoring on an Eagle error.

Huber led the Hornets at the plate driving in two runs on three hits with one run while Gavin Payne drove in two runs on one hit with one run. Taylor, Austin McMurray, Tarpley, Warren, Massey, and Oden each had one hit with Taylor, Tarpley, Warren, and Oden scoring one run.

Despite scoring just two runs, the Eagles tallied seven hits. Payne led the way driving in two runs on two hits and scoring one run. Helms, Jones, Williams, Baswell, and Snow had one hit apiece with Helms scoring the other Eagle run.

Oneonta v Etowah, L 2-5; @ Etowah,
W 6-5

The Redskins and Blue Devils split their two-game series last week with each team winning on the road. Last Tuesday, Oneonta hosted Etowah who out hit the Redskins 10-4 in their 5-2 win. Thursday’s game at Etowah was even closer. The game was tied heading into the last inning. The Redskins scored three in the top of the seventh. Etowah came close to the sweep, but came up one run short as Oneonta held on to win 6-5.

In game one, the Blue Devils scored one run in their first at bat. The Redskins answered with one of their own in the bottom of the second. After Luke Hodge and Connor Faust reached base after being beaned by the pitcher, Andrew McElvey drove in Hodge on a line drive to right field. Etowah, however, scored two more runs in the third, one in the fourth, and one in the seventh for a 5-1 lead. Oneonta tried to get something going in the bottom of the seventh, but could score only one more run. Beau Ragsdale drove in Will Moye for the final run of the game.

Moye finished with two hits and one run while Braden Moore and McElvey had one hit apiece. Ragsdale and McElvey each drove in a run. Faust started the game on the mound for the Redskins giving up 10 hits and five runs in six and two-thirds innings. Kobe Harper closed the game allowing zero runs or hits in one-third of an inning.

On Thursday, both teams started the game scoring a run in their first at bat. Moye led off with a line-drive single to left field and later scored the game’s first run on Ragsdale’s ground out. The Redskins went up by a run scoring once in the third. Moye led off the third inning with a double on a grounder to left field. Moore then doubled on a line drive to right field to get Moye home for Oneonta’s second score. In the fifth, with two outs and bases loaded, Faust walked scoring Moore from third.

The Blue Devils scored one run in the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings to tie the game at 5-5. Moore started off the seventh with a ground single to center while Brodie Devaney walked. Ragsdale laid down a bunt scoring Moore. Hodge drove in Devaney and McElvey drove in Ragsdale putting Oneonta up by three. Etowah got two runners home before the Redskins got the final out.

Hodge went seven innings on the mound surrendering seven hits and five runs. Moore led the Redskins at the plate driving in one run on four hits and scoring twice. Moye had a couple of hits and scored two runs. Devaney and Ragsdale scored the other two runs.

Oneonta v Locust Fork, W 10-0

Oneonta wrapped up its regular season with a 10-0 win over in-county rival Locust Fork last Friday. The Redskins racked up 13 hits while holding the Hornets to two. Tanner Bartlett started on the hill for Oneonta. Through four innings, he allowed just those two hits and struck out seven. Ragsdale came in to pitch the final inning. Huber got the start for Locust Fork. He gave up 11 hits and nine runs in three innings. Taylor came in to close the game giving up one run on two hits.

Huber went 2-for-2 at the plate for the Hornets. He singled on a grounder to left field in the first inning and hit a hard grounder to shortstop in the fourth.

Moore, Hodge, and Sam Patrick each scored a couple of runs for the Redskins. Hodge led off the third with a solo shot to center field. Moye, Ragsdale, Faust, and Cameron Dailey each scored one run. Moye and Hodge each drove in two runs on two hits, while Moore, Devaney, and Ragsdale each drove in one run on two hits. Faust and Alex Presley also drove in one run. The rest of the Redskin hits came from Faust, McElvey, and Patrick. They each had one.

The Redskins clinched the top spot in 4A Area 10 after Thursday’s win. They play at home in the first round of the playoffs, which gets underway Friday. Oneonta will host Fayette County at 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. If needed, the two will play game three at 1 p.m. Saturday.

J.B.Pennington @ Victory Christian, W
11-3; L 6-8

The Tigers split Saturday’s double header at Victory Christian earning an 11-3 win in game one and falling 6-8 in game two. Pennington out hit Victory Christian 10-5 in the first game scoring one in the first inning, one in the second, two in the fourth, six in the fifth, and one more in the seventh. Presley Williams pitched the complete game for the Tigers allowing three runs on five hits with five strike outs.

Dawson Tinker drove in Jaxon Timmerman in the first to get the Tigers on the board. Victory Christian scored a couple of runs in the second and another one in the third to briefly lead 3-2, but the Tigers went ahead for good in the top of the fourth. In the sixth, Sawyer Heptinstall, Jackson Millwood, Isaac Murphree, and Dawson Phillips each drove in runs as the Tigers extended their lead.

Phillips and Heptinstall each drove in two runs on one hit while Millwood also drove in two. J. Timmerman and Tinker both drove in one run on three hits with J. Timmerman scoring three times, Tinker two times, and Heptinstall, Phillips, and Millwood one time. Murphree also drove in a run on one hit while Zack Timmerman scored two runs and Jesse Amos had one hit and one run.

In game two, the Tigers built a 6-3 lead through five and a half innings, but Victory Christian scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth to go up by one. They added one more in their last at bat and held the Tigers scoreless in their final two at bats to earn the 8-6 win.

The Tigers scored three runs in their first at bat and added two more in the fourth and one in the fifth. J. Timmerman led off with an infield hit scoring later on a passed ball. With two outs, Murphree walked and scored on Tinker’s outfield hit. Phillips then drove in Murphree with a line drive to center field.

In the fourth, J. Timmerman drove in Amos and Heptinstall drove in Dillion Arnold. Tinker scored the Tigers’ final stealing home in the fifth.

Z. Timmerman took the loss. He went seven innings and surrendered seven hits and seven runs striking out six. Arnold came in to close the game allowing one run on one hit.

J. Timmerman led the Tigers at the plate with two hits, one run, and one RBI. Phillips, Heptinstall, Tinker, and Z. Timmerman got the other Tiger hits. Heptinstall and Tinker each drove in one while Murphree (one), Tinker (two), Amos (one), and Arnold (one) scored the other Tiger runs.

Southeastern’s Ashton Cardenas catches a fly against Locust Fork. -Jeff Sargent

Southeastern’s Ashton Cardenas catches a fly against Locust Fork. -Jeff Sargent

Southeastern v Locust Fork, W 3-2; W 9-7

The Mustangs and Hornets met in their final 2A Area 11 contests last week with Southeastern winning both games of the double header. Both teams pitched well in game one. Southeastern got on the board first with two runs in the first inning and another in the second. The Hornets got on the board in the fourth and scored one more in the seventh falling one run short as the Mustangs held on to win 3-2.

Trent Carpenter got the win for Southeastern gaving up two runs on five hits and striking out 10. Payne surrendered six hits and three runs for the Hornets.

Noah McCray drove in two of Southeastern’s runs. Ashton Cardenas, Logan Young, Carpenter, McCray, Kevin Juhola, and Ben Hall each got one hit with Cardenas, Carpenter, and Drew Hicks crossing home plate for Southeastern’s three runs.

For the Hornets, Tarpley drove in one run and Oden drove in the other. Tommaso Franceschelli scored one of their runs while Keith scored the other. Taylor, Huber, Franceschelli, Keith, and Oden had Locust Fork’s five hits.

Both teams put up a few more runs in game two with the Mustangs scoring four in the bottom of the sixth to take the lead. They held on to win 9-7. The Hornets got on the board first with five runs in the second inning. The Mustangs scored three in the bottom of the inning. Both teams added two runs in the fourth. With the Hornets up by two, Cardenas and Young scored making it 7-7. On a 2-2 count, McCray singled on a ground ball to right to drive in Dylan Abruzzo and Carpenter.

Juhola started on the mound for the Mustangs. He allowed six hits and five runs in two innings. Young relieved him giving up four hits and two runs in two innings. Hicks got the win going three innings allowing zero hits or runs. McMurray got the loss for the Hornets. He allowed nine runs on nine hits through six innings.

For the Mustangs, Cardenas drove in three runs and McCray drove in two while Young, Carpenter, and Juhola each drove in one. Carpenter’s three hits and two runs led the Mustangs. Young had a couple of hits while Cardenas, McCray, Juhola, and Ben Hall each had one. Scoring Southeastern’s runs were Cardenas, Young, Abbruzzo, McCray, Dobbins, Juhola, and Hall.

Tarpley’s three hits and one run led the Hornets at the plate. Taylor and Huber each had a couple of hits and each scored one run. McMurray, Payne, and Keith finished with one hit and one run. Oden also scored once. Taylor, Franceschelli, and Warren each drove in one run.

Southeastern finished the regular season as the 2A Area 11 runner up. They play at Altamont in the first round of the state playoffs Friday. Game one is at 5 p.m. with game two to follow at 7 p.m. They will play at 1 p.m. Saturday if they split Friday night’s games.