Bouncing back – EA Sports Today

White Plains collects 15 hits in first game after being no-hit, scores ‘program building win,’ Oxford, Jacksonville hold off late threats and more

TUESDAY’S GAMES
Choccolocco Park Spring Break Experience
Donoho 2, Prattville Christian 1
Jacksonville 7, Muscle Shoals 6
Jemison 10, Wellborn 0
Muscle Shoals 10, White Plains 3
White Plains 9, Jemison 7

Other games
Cherokee County 10, Weaver 4
Fort Smith (Ark.) 23, Pleasant Valley 12
Oxford 9, Springville 8
Winfield 20, Pleasant Valley 4

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD – The good thing about baseball is no matter how good or bad it was that game, there’s always another game the next day.

White Plains proved it was a team with short memories Tuesday, bouncing back from being no-hit the day before to score eight runs in the first two innings, collect 15 hits and hold off 5A Jemison 9-7 in its first game of the day in the Choccolocco Park Spring Break Experience.

“Baseball’s a game every game is one game at a time,” Wildcats coach Dawson Taylor said. “Last game doesn’t help you this game and the next isn’t going to help you the next game.

“I told my guys yesterday I think we came out a little flat (against Prattville Christian Monday). We faced a very, very good arm; he was throwing speeds I don’t think our guys have seen and that hurt us. I told them to just wash it. We had to come out today and be energetic and we were.

“I was proud of them the way they bounced back after yesterday. That’s a program building win right there. I was proud of that one. Proud of my guys. “

It probably didn’t help on a lot of fronts that Monday was the Wildcats’ first baseball activity of any kind in 10 days because of the weather.

But on Tuesday they threatened to run-rule Jemison early, sending eight batters to the plate in a three-run first inning and batting around to score five in the second.

The first two runs in the first scored when the Panthers threw Duke Barnett’s slow roller up the line and Braxton Curles delivered a sacrifice fly. Ashton Wallace had a two-run single and Cooper Tinney an RBI double in the second.

They looked to break it open in the fourth, loading the bases with one out, but only managed to score one run.

They needed every run they did score because Jemison chipped away the late innings to get within 9-7 going to the seventh.

Barnett started on the mound for White Plains and was effective enough through 113 pitches over five innings. He gave up six hits, but the first four never left in the infield. Brandon Hahm followed him and had trouble finding his rhythm early, but he settled in and closed out the game to get the save.

Five White Plains hitters had multiple hits in the 2-hour, 45-minute morning marathon. Will Caldwell went 3-for-5 with two RBIs, while Miles Austin, Barnett, Wallace and Paul Laube had two hits apiece.

The Wildcats didn’t have as much luck in their second game. They committed five errors and lost to Muscle Shoals 10-3. They gave up four unearned runs in the first, clawed back to make it 4-2 in the fourth, then gave up six runs in the fifth.

Caldwell had two more hits for the Wildcats in that game.

“He’s playing with a lot of confidence right now and that’s why he’s had the success he’s had,” Taylor said of his first baseman. “He’s confident, he’s not babying that shoulder, he’s a senior, it’s his last ride at him, he’s doing a great job for us.”

White Plains 350 100 0 – 9 15 1
Jemison 101 023 0 – 7 9 2
WP: Duke Barnett. LP: Braden Tillery. 2B: Cooper Tinny (W), Lane Pate (J). 3B: Will Caldwell (W).

Muscle Shoals 400 060 0 – 10 10 0
White Plains 000 200 1 – 3 5 5
WP: Luke Peoples. LP: Cooper Tinney. 2B: Noah Ray (M), Braden Mauldin (M), Graham Reed (M).

Jemison 10, Wellborn 0: The Panthers bounced back from their loss to White Plains behind Trent Gaines’ five-inning three-hitter. They took control with a five-run second and tacked on three in the third. Wellborn put runners on in every inning and several in scoring position, but couldn’t bring them home. Brennan Talley had two of the Panthers’ three hits.

Wellborn 000 00 – 0 3 2
Jemison 053 02 – 10 8 1
WP: Trent Gaines. LP: Brennan Talley.

Jacksonville 7, Muscle Shoals 6: The Golden Eagles built a 7-0 lead after five innings and needed every bit of it as Muscle Shoals rallied for six in the seventh on only one hit before Taj Morris, the third pitcher of the inning, came on to get the final out.

Jacksonville took a 3-0 lead in the fourth on Tito Canales’ run-scoring triple and RBI singles by Nick Salmon and Jacoby Zackery. Salmon also a sacrifice fly in its four-run fifth.

Muscle Shoals sent 12 batters to the plate in the seventh. It took advantage of seven walks and a hit batsman. Morris came on mid-count with the winning run at first and lost the hitter to load the bases. But he got the last out on a four-pitch strikeout to end the game.

Kody Willingham pitched six shutout innings as the Jacksonville starter. He gave up four hits, walked three and struck out five.

Jacksonville 000 340 0 – 7 9 1
Muscle Shoals 000 000 6 – 6 5 4
WP: Kody Willingham. LP: Sam Wright. 2B: Walker McCannon (M), Tate Pierce (M). 3B: Tito Canales (J).

Oxford 9, Springville 8: Remember that Joe Torre quote Oxford coach Wes Brooks pulled out after his team won the Calhoun County Tournament with its only hit of the game in the final at-bat of the night? That one about every eight days seeing something he’s never seen in the game of baseball?

Brooks had another one of those moments in the Yellow Jackets’ area opener.

Peyton Watts came on in the seventh inning as the lead was slipping away, threw three pitches and got the save. But there’s more.

The third pitch was a wild pitch sending the potential tying run home, but catcher Caleb Thomas goes back to the fence and flips it to Watts, who applies the tag for the game’s final out.

Watts also went 4-for-4 at the plate with five RBIs. His three-run homer in the ninth gave the Yellow Jackets (16-3) a 9-4 lead. His di lui also had a two-out single in the fifth that broke a 3-3 tie and put Oxford ahead for good.

Carter Johnson gave the Jackets six solid innings as the starter, giving up eight hits and striking out 10 over 90 pitches. The Tigers put their rally together against RJ Brooks before Watts came in and shut the door.

Brooks hit a two-run homer in the sixth.

Oxford 111 012 3 – 9 14 4
Springville 210 001 4 – 8 12 2
WP: Crater Johnson. LP: Caleb McCarty. 2B: Hayes Harrison (O), Sam Robertson (O), Ethan Davis (S). 3B: Sam Robertson (O). HR: RJ Brooks (O), Peyton Watts (O).

Winfield 20, Pleasant Valley 4: The Pirates came ready, batting around twice in the first inning and scoring 14 runs. PV responded with four in the second, but the hole was too deep to recover.

Caleb Shew drove in PV’s first run with a double, Nathan Shaw had a two-run double and Zeke Curvin had an RBI single. After Curvin’s hit, the Raiders mustered only two more base runners (a dropped third strike passed ball and Holt Bentley’s fifth-inning single) the rest of the five-inning game.

The Raiders lost their earlier game of the day, 23-12 to Fort Smith (Ark.). They had a 12-7 lead in the fourth inning.

Cherokee County 10, Weaver 4: The Bearcats tied the game 4-4 on Rabon Kirk’s two-run single in the third, but Connor Wilson came on and gave Cherokee County four innings of one-hit shutout relief with 10 strikeouts.

The Warriors snapped the tie when Malachi Horton scored on a passed ball in the fifth and extended the lead on Walker Pruett’s run-scoring ground out in the sixth. Pruett had a two-run double in the seventh.

Cover photo: White Plains’ Cooper Tinney loads up before delivering an RBI double in the second inning against Jemison.


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