Wildcats sweep Blue Devils, earn playoff spot

Hayden’s Eli Williams celebrates after the Wildcats’ victory over Cordova. -Kimberly Williams

Hayden began its second round of Region 12 play at home last Tuesday with the Cordova Blue Devils. Cordova entered the matchup at 1-1 in the region after splitting their first series with Corner. Hayden had a huge second inning which led the Wildcats past Cordova 9-1.

Carson Simmons was the lead off batter for Hayden in the second inning. He reached first on a Cordova error. Simmons quickly moved to third on a first pitch single to right field by Sammy Collins. Mason Mullaney came to the plate and bunted to move the runners, but beat out the throw and scored Simmons from third for the game’s first run. Kyler Leamon then singled to center scoring Collins. Braden Hodges walked loading the bases. Carson Snow then singled on a hard ground ball to left field scoring Mullaney and Leamon. Caden Mason then stepped into the batter’s box and took the first pitch deep over the fence in center field for his first varsity home run. The Blue Devils recorded three outs over the next four batters, but the score at the end of two stood at 7-0.

Cordova scored their only run in the top of the third. They threatened in the fifth with loaded bases and two outs. Hayden pitcher Cole Loftis caught the batter looking on strike three to end the threat. The Wildcats added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth when Hodges, who reached by bean ball, scored and Snow, who singled to left field, crossed the plate on a walk.

Cole Loftis earned the win for Hayden. Loftis allowed six hits and one run over seven innings, striking out eight and walking one.

Snow led Hayden at the plate. He went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and scored twice. The Wildcats were sure-handed in the field and played error free ball.

Hayden’s Carson Simmons attempts to pick off Cordova’s Zachary James at first. -Lena Simmons

Hayden @ Cordova, W 8-7

It took two extra innings, but Hayden grabbed the lead late in the game for an 8-7 victory over Cordova Thursday. The win gives the Wildcats the lead in Region 12 and guarantees them a playoff spot with one series to go against the second-place Corner Yellowjackets.

Hayden jumped out to an early lead scoring four in the top of the first inning while batting the order. Mason singled driving in the first two runs of the game. Cordova fought back with bats blazing, scoring four of their own to even up the game at four after one. The Wildcats added one more in the second when Hodges tripled on a leadoff at bat, then scored on a sac fly to deep center by Snow. In the third, another run crossed the plate when Collins singled to right field and was moved to third by two sacrifice bunts. Hodges singled up the middle and Cordova’s second baseman was unable to make the play at first, pushing Collins across the plate.

In the sixth inning, Hayden extended their lead to 7-4 when Collins walked, advanced to second on a passed ball, then scored off of Mullaney’s line drive to left field. In the bottom of the sixth, Cordova came back in a big way. The third batter of the inning sent the first pitch he saw over the left field fence driving in three runs to tie the game at 7-7.

The Blue Devils seemed to grab momentum heading into the seventh inning, which saw both teams with base runners although none made it to second base. In a fantastic heads up play, Mason caught a popped up bunt for an out, and quickly heaved the ball to get the leadoff batter, who singled, trying to retreat to first base.

The eighth inning saw the Wildcats produce one base runner when Collins doubled, but would advance no farther. Cordova produced two base runners with two outs, but a ground-out to second ended the threat.

In the top of the ninth, Leamon hit a ground ball to third base and reached on an error. A sac bunt by Hodges moved Leamon to second. On the first pitch of his at bat, Mason hit a hard ground ball into left field, scoring Leamon from second to give the Wildcats the lead. In the bottom of the ninth, Cordova’s first two batters were retired on seven pitches. The final batter fought off five pitches before watching the sixth cross the plate for the final out of the contest.

Snow led things off on the mound for Hayden; he surrendered four runs on 11 hits over five innings, striking out six, and walking zero. Twice Snow found himself with one out and bases loaded, and struck out the final two batters to allow no runs. Collins came in from left field in relief. He allowed three runs on two hits, walked three, and struck out six. Collins earned the win for the Wildcats.

Hayden collected 12 hits in the game. Collins, Mason, and Hodges each had three. Mason tallied three RBIs on the day. The Wildcats left 16 runners on base.

The win moved the Wildcats to 12- 8, 4-0 in region play, and clinched a berth in the 2021 baseball playoffs.

Hayden coaches Kenneth McGaughy and Lucas Drake congratulate Sammy Collins after the Wildcats clinched a spot in the playoffs. Collins allowed three runs on two hits and three walks, while striking out six.  Collins pitched the final four innings earning the win for the Wildcats. -Lena Simmons

Hayden coaches Kenneth McGaughy and Lucas Drake congratulate Sammy Collins after the Wildcats clinched a spot in the playoffs. Collins allowed three runs on two hits and three walks, while striking out six. Collins pitched the final four innings earning the win for the Wildcats. -Lena Simmons

Hayden @ Cordova, W 17-8

Hayden weathered a scare by Cordova in the fifth inning giving up five runs, but the Wildcats still walked away with a decisive 17-8 victory on Thursday.

Things started off slow for Hayden as Cordova scored one in the first and two in the second. The Wildcats could not generate a base runner through two innings. After two, Cordova held a 3-0 lead. In the third, the Wildcats exploded on the scene. A leadoff beaning of Collins and a triple by Mullaney got things rolling for Hayden. The inning saw 13 Hayden batters, four bean balls, three walks, a single, a triple, and eight Wildcats cross the plate.

The Wildcats scored four more in the fourth and two more in the fifth pushing their lead to 14-3. With the threat of being run ruled, Cordova found some life, scoring five of their own in the bottom of the fifth to narrow the Wildcat lead to 14-8. The Wildcats plated three more in the top of the sixth to push the lead to 17-8 where it stayed.

Hodges started on the mound and took the win for Hayden. The righty went four innings allowing five runs on one hit and striking out three. Mullaney came in as relief pitching two-thirds of an inning, allowing three runs on two hits and three walks. Eli Williams came in to close out the game. Williams allowed no runs on no hits while striking out three.

Hayden collected 10 hits in the contest. Hodges, Mullaney, and Williams each managed multiple hits for Hayden. Hodges led the team going 3-for-6 at the plate.

Hayden’s win pushes their record to 13-8 and extends a winning streak started during spring break to nine games. The Wildcats will play rival Corner in a crucial series that will determine the winner of 5A Region 12. Corner split a series earlier with Cordova and has a 3-1 region record while the Wildcats are a perfect 5-0 in region play.

Appalachian @ Cedar Bluff, L 8-12

A day after winning the 1A Region 9 championship, the Eagles fell 8-12 to Cedar Bluff on the road. Appalachian started off the game with three runs in their first at bat, but Cedar Bluff scored four of their own in the bottom of the first. They added six runs over the next two innings building a 10-3 lead before the Eagles scored again.

Bryson Seawright led off the game with a walk and Helms singled on a hard ground ball to center field. Up next was Chase Payne who cleared the bases with a three-run homer on a fly ball to center. In the top of the fourth, the Eagles put three more runs on the board. With two outs, Chris Heekin walked, advanced to second on a passed ball, and stole third. Heekin scored on a ground ball hit by Seawright, who landed at first. Back-to-back triples from Helms and Payne gave the Eagles two more runs as they headed into the bottom of the fourth down 6-10.

The Eagles added one more run in the top of the fifth. Joey Williams got on first after being hit by a pitch. He advanced to second on a passed ball and made it to third on Logan Harvey’s line-drive single to center. A sacrifice bunt from Taylor Barger got Williams home for their seventh run.

Down 7-12 heading into the final inning, the Eagles could only get one more runner across the plate. With one out, Williams walked and advanced to third when Harvey doubled on a fly ball to right field. Williams scored on a hard ground ball from Seawright for the game’s final run.

Seawright led the Eagles at the plate with three hits, two RBIs, and two runs. Helms, Payne, and Harvey each had two hits. Helms scored a couple of runs and had one RBI while Payne finished with four RBIs and one run. Caden Jones and Landon Snow each got a hit, Williams scored twice, Heekin scored once, and Barger had one RBI.

Snow started the game for the Eagles on the mound. He gave up six runs on six hits before Helms relieved him in the second inning. Through four innings, Helms allowed five runs on six hits striking out seven. Jones came in to close the game giving up the final run on one hit.

The Cedar Bluff game was Appalachian’s final region game. They’ll host Marion County on April 23 in the first round of the playoffs. The next game for the Eagles is at home against the Locust Fork Hornets at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow.

Cleveland @ Locust Fork, W 19-6

Last week, the Panthers and Hornets split a double header as they try to move up in the Class 2A Region 11 standings. Cleveland got the best of the Hornets in game two winning 19-6. They scored eight runs in the fifth to take the lead and added 11 in the sixth.

The Hornets got two quick runs in the bottom of the first. Dylan Taylor led off the bottom of the second with a walk and advanced to second on an error. He reached third on Gavin Payne’s ground out and scored when Lukas Huber hit a line drive to left field. Tommaso Franceschelli grounded into a fielder’s choice. He made it safely to first, but Huber was thrown out at second. After Franceschelli advanced to second on an error, Landon Keith singled on a fly ball to right field scoring Franceschelli.

Locust Fork’s 2-0 lead held through the first four innings, but the Panthers’ bats got hot in the top of the fifth. Patrick Childers’ lead-off single was followed by a walk to Kyle Willis and a single from Adrain Zavala sending Childers home. Willis scored on Noah Longshore’s single. Ace Kon grounded into a double play leaving Longshore on second and Zavala out. With two outs, back-to-back singles from Brayden Painter and Jacob Johnson scored Longshore before Kartar Adams knocked them both in on a line drive to left field. Cade Wilson and Childers then walked to load the bases for Willis who was hit by a pitch sending him to first and Adams home. Zavala came through with his second hit of the inning scoring the final two runs of the inning.

The Hornets added one run in the bottom of the fifth making it a five-run game, but the Panthers’ 11 in the top of the sixth sealed their victory.

Kon got the win for the Panthers. He gave up three runs on two hits through five innings. Robert Curiel came in to close the game surrendering three runs on three hits in his one inning on the mound. For the Hornets, Payne started and pitched three innings allowing no runs or hits while striking out six. Tucker Massey, Keith, and Dylan Taylor split time in the final three innings. Massey allowed five runs on five hits through one and a third while Keith gave up seven runs on five hits through two-thirds. Taylor gave up the final seven runs on four hits.

Zavala went 3-for-4 to lead the Panthers at the plate. He finished with four RBIs and one run. Painter, Johnson, and Childers each had two hits scoring three runs apiece while Longshore had two hits with two runs and two RBIs. Painter had two RBIs and Childers, Willis, and Kon each had one RBI. Adams, Jack Chaperon, and Wilson finished with one hit and two RBIs each.

For the Hornets, Huber’s two hits, one run, and one RBI led the team. Franceschelli, Keith, and Oden had the three remaining hits. Locust Fork’s other runs were scored by Taylor, Franceschelli, Zac Tarpley, Massey, and Oden while Keith and Massey added one RBI each and Oden added two.

The Panthers wrapped up region play with a double header at West End last night. They play Victory Christian at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow.

Locust Fork
Locust Fork v Cleveland, W 12-2

A big fourth inning ensured a Hornet victory over the Cleveland Panthers in game one of last week’s double header. Locust Fork scored two in the first, two in the third and eight in the fourth to beat Cleveland 12-8.

In the bottom of the first, Taylor and Payne led off the inning with back-to-back walks. Taylor scored on Huber’s ground out while Payne advanced to second. The Hornets brought in Zachary Watts to run for Payne, who scored on Franceschelli’s line drive to center field. With two outs in the third, Tarpley’s grounder scored two more Hornet runs.

The Panthers two runs came in the top of the fourth. Jesus Elizarrarez led off with a walk. Childers and Willis loaded the bases after both were beaned by a pitch. With two outs, Bryson Browning walked sending Elizarrarez home and Longshore walked sending Childers home.

In the bottom half of the inning, Payne, Franceschelli, Massey, and Oden all got runners home as the Hornets went on to score eight runs in what was Locust Fork’s last at bat.

Payne got the Hornet win surrendering just two runs on two hits and striking out three in five innings. Longshore took the loss giving up seven runs on four hits through three innings. Johnson came in for one inning and gave up five runs on two hits.

Franceschelli went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and one run to lead the Hornets at the plate. Payne, Huber, Matthew Mitchell, and Oden each had one hit. Payne and Oden finished with two RBIs while Huber and Massey each had one. Scoring two runs apiece were D. Taylor, Watts, Oden, and Jake Taylor. The remaining runs came from Keith, Tarpley, and Massey who each scored one.

The Panthers two hits came from Johnson and Willis. Longshore and Browning each got one RBI while Elizarrarz and Childress scored the Panther runs.

Locust Fork wrapped up region play with a double header at Southeastern last night. Tomorrow, they travel to Appalachian for a 4:30 p.m. game against the Eagles.

Oneonta @ A.P. Brewer, W 18-0

Connor Faust and Beau Ragsdale kept A.P. Brewer scoreless in Oneonta’s 18-0 win last week. Faust pitched three innings giving up just one hit while Ragsdale came in for the final two innings and allowed no hits.

The Redskins put up seven runs in their first at bat and added 10 more in second. Their final run came in the fourth. Oneonta racked up 13 hits in five innings of play. Andrew McElvey’s seven-RBI, four-hit performance led the Redskins at the plate. Braden Moore and Ragsdale finished with two hits each while Will Moye, Brodie Devaney, Faust, Cameron Dailey, and Sam Patrick each finished with one. Moye added three RBIs, Ragsdale and Patrick added two RBIs each, and Moore and Devaney each had one.

Luke Hodge and Ragsdale each crossed the plate three times to score six of Oneonta’s runs. Devaney, Faust, McElvey, Dailey, and Patrick scored two runs apiece, while Moye and Moore each scored a run in the Redskin win.

Oneonta v Ranburne, W 2-1; W 11-3

On Thursday, the Redskins hosted Ranburne winning both games of a double header. Game one was a low scoring affair with Oneonta winning 2-1. The Redskins turned up the heat in game two winning 11-3 for the sweep.

In game one, Oneonta’s two runs came in the bottom of the third. Moore landed on first after Ranburne’s pitcher mishandled a hard ground ball. Next, Devaney walked putting runners on first and second. With two outs, Hodge stepped to the plate and hit a line drive to left field for a bases-clearing triple. While Ranburne scored in the top of the next inning, the Redskins kept them scoreless for the remainder of the game.

Hodge went seven innings for the Redskins. He allowed one run on five hits striking out 10. McElvey went 2-for-3 at the plate. Moore and Hodge each had one hit with Moore scoring a run and Hodge collecting one RBI. Devaney scored the other Redskin run.

Oneonta started off game two with three runs in the first, three runs in the second, and four more in the fourth. The final run came in their last at bat. They racked up nine hits with Hodge, Faust, and McElvey leading the way with two apiece. Moye, Ragsdale, and Patrick each had a hit.

Devaney scored three of Oneonta’s runs while Moore and McElvey each scored twice. The remaining runs were scored by Moye, Ragsdale, Hodge, and Faust. Hodge drove in four runs and Faust drove in two. Devaney, Ragsdale, and McElvey finished with one RBI apiece.

Starting on the mound for the Redskins was Tanner Bartlett. In the win, he gave up three runs on six hits through six innings. Kobe Harper relieved Bartlett in the seventh.

The Redskins wrap up 4A Region 10 play with a double header at Etowah tomorrow afternoon starting at 4:30 p.m.

J.B.Pennington v Susan Moore, W 5-2

The Tigers clinched the 3A Region 13 title last Monday with their win over the Bulldogs. The teams met again on Tuesday splitting a double header at Susan Moore. In Pennington’s 5-2 win, the Bulldogs got on the board first scoring their only two runs of the game in the first inning. The Tigers went ahead in the top of the second, scoring five.

Camden Lackey’s double on a fly ball to left field got things moving for the Bulldogs in their first at bat. He advanced to third on a passed ball before Andrew Shelton reached first on a walk. Lackey took advantage of another passed ball and stole home for the first run of the game. Shelton advanced to second on the passed ball and then stole third. With two outs, Jayce Hutchens singled on a line drive to left sending Shelton home for the Bulldogs’ final run of the game.

In the top of the second with one out, Jesse Amos landed at first after being hit by a pitch. Then with two outs, Matthew Smith cleared the bases on a fly ball to right field for a triple. Sawyer Heptinstall’s grounder to third got Smith home, and Jackson Millwood kept the rally alive with a ground single to left field. With Issac Murphree at the plate, Heptinstall took advantage of a Bulldog error scoring the Tigers’ third run before Murphree reached on a walk. Dawson Tinker brought both Millwood and Murphree home with a fly ball triple to center field for the final runs of the game.

For the Tigers, Smith got the win giving up those two early runs on four hits striking out 11. Lackey started on the hill for the Bulldogs, but pitched only two innings. He allowed five runs on five hits. Corbin Hamric came in for the final five innings surrendering zero runs on four hits.

Pennington finished the game with nine hits. Smith and Millwood each hit two while Heptinstall, Murhpree, Tinker, Zack Timmerman, and Noah Blackwood had one hit each. Getting the Tigers’ five runs were Smith, Heptinstall, Millwood, Murphree, and Amos. Tinker had a couple of RBIs and Smith had one.

Hutchens led at the plate for the Bulldogs going 2-for-4 with one RBI. Lackey and Nolen had the other two Susan Moore hits with Lackey scoring one run and Shelton scoring the other.

The Tigers wrapped up region play last week. Up next for Pennington is a double header at Victory Christian April 17. Game one starts at noon.

Southeastern’s Dylan Abbruzzo beats the throw to the plate against West End. -Jeff Sargent

Southeastern’s Dylan Abbruzzo beats the throw to the plate against West End. -Jeff Sargent

Southeastern @ West End, L 5-4; W 14-7

The Mustangs finished their 2A Region 11 series against West End with a double header in Walnut Grove last week. In game one, the Patriots scored two runs in their last at bat to beat Southeastern 5-4. Trailing 5-7 after four innings in the second game, the Mustangs tied it up in the top of the second and took the lead in the sixth going on to win 14-7.

In the first game, Southeastern got on the board first with two runs in the top of the second. Kevin Juhola doubled on a ground ball to center scoring Noah McCray. Ben Hall’s single on an infield grounder scored Brody Dobbins. The Patriots answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning.

Southeastern tied it up in the top of the sixth. After Trent Carpenter reached on an infield hit, he reached home a couple of batters later when McCray singled on a grounder to second. They took the lead with another run in the top of the seventh. After Dobbins led off with a single, the next two batters struck out. Ashton Cardenas stepped up to the plate and hit the second pitch to center field bringing Dobbins home. The one-run lead wasn’t enough. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, the Patriots scored twice.

The Mustangs racked up 10 hits with Cardenas and Dobbins leading the way with two hits each. Cardenas added an RBI while Dobbins scored twice. Logan Young, Carpenter, Auston Sargent, McCray, Juhola, and Hall each had one hit with McCray, Juhola, and Hall also getting one RBI each. Carpenter and McCray scored the Mustangs’ other two runs.

Carpenter got the loss surrendering five runs on four hits through six and two-thirds innings. He struck out 11 while walking only three.

In the second game, both teams scored a run in the first. The Mustangs added one more in the second, but the Patriots scored three. Southeastern answered with three of their own in the top of the third taking the 5-4 lead. In the bottom of the fourth, West End went back up scoring three runs for a 7-4 lead. The Mustangs took the lead for good after scoring two in the fifth and one in the sixth. They added six more in their final at bat giving them a 14-7 victory.

Southeastern racked up 13 hits in the win. Carpenter and Sargent led the team with three hits each. Sargent knocked in three of Southeastern’s runs and scored two, while Carpenter had one RBI and scored three of Southeastern’s runs. Both Dylan Abbruzzo and Dobbins had two hits and two RBIs with Abbruzzo scoring three runs and Dobbins two. Cardenas, Jackson McMillian and Hall each finished with one hit. Young, McCray, and Hall all knocked in a run while Cardenas, Young, McMillian, and Hall scored once.

Drew Hicks got the start for the Mustangs allowing six runs on three hits through three innings. Cardenas got the win pitching four innings giving up one run on one hit.

The Mustangs travel to Good Hope tomorrow for a 4:30 p.m. game against the Raiders. They finished region play yesterday with a double header against Locust Fork.

Susan Moore
Susan Moore v Pennington, W 3-2

The Bulldogs avoided a sweep in last week’s three-game stand against the Tigers winning game two by a score of 3-2. Pennington got off to a quick start scoring two runs in their first at bat. Both Smith and Heptinstall drove the ball to center field in their first at bat. While Smith got thrown out at home plate, Heptinstall crossed safely. Then with two outs, Tinker’s fly ball to center field got Millwood home.

Susan Moore finally put a run on the board in the bottom of the third. After Trey Cook led off with a walk, he scored when Price hit into a double play. No more runs would cross home plate until the Bulldogs’ final at bat. Andrew Shelton walked and advanced to third on Ethan Walker’s hit to right field. Travis Cook then walked to load the bases. Trey Cook’s infield grounder scored both Shelton and Walker to end the game.

Hutchens started on the mound for the Bulldogs. Through six innings he gave up just two runs on five hits striking out 11 for the win. Lackey closed the game for the save. Zach Timmerman took the loss. He gave up only two hits and three runs through six innings.

Walker and Poole had Susan Moore’s two hits with Walker, Shelton, and Trey Cook scoring one run apiece. Cook also recorded two RBIs. For the Tigers, Smith, Heptinstall, Tinker, J. Timmerman, and Amos each collected one hit while Heptinstall and Millwood scored Pennington’s two runs.

The Bulldogs closed out region play last night against Brindlee Mountain. They travel to Ider April 19 for a double header starting at 3:30 p.m.