Wednesday, February 19, 2020






Homewood’s Josh Hall Shatters National High School Stolen Base Record

By Rubin E. Grant
Special for AHSAA


Josh Hall was in a hurry.


He had more pressing things on his mind than a national record.


So, when he went into the first game of Homewood’s Class 6A first-round playoff series against Minor on April 20 needing only two stolen bases to break the national record, the Patriots’ senior center fielder wanted to get it out of the way as quickly as possible.


“I wanted to do it on first at-bat,” Hall said. “I wanted to get on base, then steal second and third, get it out of the way and focus on the business of winning.”


Hall did get on base in the first inning, but was balked to second. He then stole third to tie the national record.


He didn’t have to wait long for his next opportunity. He reached on a bunt single in the second inning, then bolted for second, easily beating the throw for the 212th steal of his career to eclipse the national record of 211 previously held by Haddon McIntosh of Norman Community School in Oklahoma.


Hall's teammates rushed onto the field to congratulate him and Hall removed the second base bag to highlight the moment. He then embraced his dad Lee Hall, the Patriots’ head coach.


“It was a pretty amazing feeling,” Josh Hall said. “I felt better about the state record, but this is on a much larger scale with it being a national record and being in the state playoffs.”


Hall broke the Alabama High School Athletic Association record on March 14 by stealing his 165th career base against John Carroll Catholic.  Scottie Burdeshaw of Slocomb set the previous mark (164) from 2005-10.


“We felt like he would get that,” Lee Hall said. “The national record is something we didn’t think about. But after he broke the state record, the media said he was closing in on the national record. For him to do that was unexpected, but great to see.”


Josh Hall finished his record-setting day with nine steals, bringing his total to 219, as the Patriots swept Minor 16-0 and 15-3 to advance to the second round. The 5-foot-9, 175-pound left-handed batter reached base on each of his eight plate appearances with four hits, three walks and a hit by pitch.


Hall is playing his first — and only — season at Homewood after transferring from Randolph High School in Huntsville when his dad, who was the coach there, accepted the Patriots’ coaching position. Hall is headed to Ole Miss, signing with the Rebels last fall.


He set the AHSAA single-season stolen base record with 81 steals in 45 games during his sophomore season in 2016 at Randolph, breaking a record (75) set by Kevin Harrison of Maplesville 21 years earlier in 1997.  He has 77 steals in 79 attempts this season in 36 games with Homewood (27-9) playing Gardendale (21-9) in the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs Friday. The series is best 2-of-3. He needs 27 more stolen bases to set the NFHS single-season record (103), currently held by Silento Sayles of Port Gibson (MS).

Hall is currently hitting .520 on the season with 53 hits in 102 official at bats. His on-base percentage is .630, reaching base 85 times in his 137 plate appearances (including 28 walks and four hit-by-pitches).

Being the national record holder is not something Hall is savoring at the moment.


“It’s something I’ll do after the season is over,” he said. “Right now I’m focused of taking my team to a state championship.”

Bob Jones High School’s Home Run Barrage Puts Team in AHSAA Record Book

   MONTGOMERY – Bob Jones High School went on a home-run hitting barrage in three wins last week to break the school’s single-season record. The Patriots slugged four home runs in the fifth inning of the first game of a double-header (12-9 and 8-3) sweep versus East Limestone and finished with 10 home runs on the week as Coach Jared Smith’s sluggers grabbed the AHSAA Baseball Spotlight for this week.
    Cam Hill and Slate Alford had two homers each on the week as Bob Jones (23-8) upped its season total to 30 on the year. Colton Carver, Mitchell Daly, Brendan Bickleman, Caden Rose and Dylan Ray also had at least one homer during the week. The Patriots outscored six opponents 65-45 for the week and won four of six games.
   The previous season record was 25 – set 20 years ago in the 1998 season. Ray has a team-leading eight on the season and Hill seven through last week’s games.
    The single-season AHSAA record (85) was set by American Christian in 2006, according to the AHSAA Record Book. Cullman had 81 in 2011 and Leroy, which clubbed five homers in the first inning of a win over Jackson in 2009, finished that year with 75 to rank third. Bob Jones’ four homers tied 12 others for second most in a single inning. The most recent school to hit four in an inning was Russell County in the first inning of a 12-0 win over Carroll-Ozark in 2013.
   The NFHS Record Book lists the national prep record as 11, set by Choctaw, (OK) in 1977 versus Oklahoma City-McGuinness.
   In other baseball highlights:

COACH PAT HAMRICK, THOMPSON: The Warriors (16-12) downed Gulf Shores 13-5 in the semifinals of the Gulf Coast Classic baseball tournament last week and presented Hamrick with the 500th win of his prep baseball coaching career. The Warriors, 5-1 in the tourney, fell to Brighton (TN) in the finals 7-1. Sawyer Pate slugged three doubles in the milestone win to pace Thompson’s 13-hit attack. Hamrick led Thompson to the Class 7A state championship series in 2015 – the first year of 7A competition. The Warriors finished second. Miles Brown was 10-of-12 with seven runs scored and two RBIs in Thompson’s six games.
COACH CHRIS BRAZELL, COTTAGE HILL: Notched the 300th win of his prep baseball coaching career with a doubleheader sweep of Bayside Academy last week, 8-7, 8-7. Grant Woodruff delivered a two-run single in the bottom of the seventh in the second game to give the Warriors (16-8) the sweep and Brazell, 37, his milestone coaching victory. All the victories have come at Cottage Hill Christian where he has served as head coach for 14 seasons. The Warriors have won 14 of their last 16 games.
HOUSTON EDWARDS, HOKES BLUFF: The Eagles catcher had two doubles and an RBI at the plate and picked off two runners at first base from his position behind the plate as Hokes Bluff (13-4) beat Southside-Gadsden 4-1 to claim the Etowah County baseball tournament title. It was the Eagles’ first county title in 10 years.

Slammed a two-run homer in the Buccaneer Classic semifinals to tie the game with Helena 4-4 in the sixth inning. Teammate Preston Moore then slammed a solo homer to give the Bucs a 5-4 lead and DiChiara, pitching in relief, struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh inning to seal the win. Hoover then beat Cullman 10-3 in the finals to claim the tourney title. Evan Veal hurled the win over Cullman and hit .438 in seven games with two triples, a double, nine RBIs and three steals.
ISAIAH MAGWOOD, HAZEL GREEN: Socked a solo home run to break a 3-3 tie and end the game as the Trojans (17-7) beat Florence 4-3 in the second game of a doubleheader sweep. He also clubbed a three-run homer to tie the first game 4-4 and Hazel Green went on to post a 5-4 win.
BRYCE KNOX, FAIRHOPE: Had a two-out double to plate the winning run in a 6-5 first-game victory over T.R. Miller.  Teammate Colin Millar, who scored the winning run in game one, supplied a single in the second game to drive in the winning run in a 3-2 victory to complete the sweep.
RYAN TOMLIN, ARITON: Singled in the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning to lead the Purple Cats past Houston Academy 10-9. He finished with three hits, including a homer, and had three RBIs.
CORBIN MIDDLETON, BAKER: Slugged a two-run homer in the fifth inning to break a 6-6 tie as the Hornets beat Mary Montgomery 9-7.
A.J. BLACKWELL, ALMA BRYANT: Had a three-run double in the top of the seventh inning to lead the Hurricanes past Theodore 9-8.

The left-hander hurled a one-hitter and struck out 15 as the Eagles blanked Hendersonville (TN) 2-0 in a game at the Gulf Coast Classic. He struck out 12 in the first four innings and the only hit allowed was an infield single.
GARRETT WADE, HARTSELLE: Struck out 10 and hurled a no-hitter as the Tigers beat Decatur 10-0 in a key area win. Earlier in the week, he notched a save in a 4-3 win over the Red Raiders after teammate Grayson Bray singled in the go-ahead run in the top of the seventh. Wade then came on to strike out the side in the bottom of the inning to seal the win.
CHANDLER BEST, McGILL-TOOLEN CATHOLIC: Hurled a seven-inning perfect game striking out 15 of the 21 outs to beat Murphy 4-0. It was his second no-hitter of the season for the Yellow Jackets.
CONNOR MOYE, W.S. NEAL: Hurled a five-inning two-hitter and struck out 12 as the unbeaten Blue Eagles (19-0) downed Greenville 11-1.
TANNER DUKE, ROBERTSDALE: Tossed a two-hitter and struck out 11 in a 6-0 win over Davidson Academy (TN). The Golden Bears (23-3) reached the semifinals of the Gulf Coast Classic. Duke (5-0) scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning when Presley Holland laid down a perfect squeeze bunt in the 1-0 extra-inning win. Tristan Stevens hurled six scoreless innings, allowing five hits and striking out eight. Reliever Brandon Johnson (3-0) got the win pitching the final three innings.
JOSH DAUGHTERY, HELENA: Hurled seven scoreless innings in relief to shut down Houston (TN) and the Huskies managed to plate two runs in the top of the 10th inning to post a 9-7 win at the Buccaneer Classic baseball tourney hosted by Hoover. He struck out four to get the win in the longest game of the Spring Break tourney.
BRADY GARCIA, ST. LUKE’S EPISCOPAL: Tossed a two-hitter and struck out five as the Class 2A Wildcats beat Class 7A Foley 12-0.
BRAXTON CHANEY, THOMASVILLE: Tossed a three-hit shutout and struck out 11 as the Tigers nipped Satsuma 1-0.
NOAH BARNETT, HACKLEBURG: Struck out 12 and scattered seven hits as the Class 1A Panthers beat Class 5A defending state champion Russellville 6-4.
DREW FAVORS, REELTOWN: Took the mound with his team leading Horseshoe Bend 7-6 and hurled three shutout innings in relief, striking out six to register the important Class 2A, Area 8 game save.
SETH BENEFIELD, FYFFE: Tossed a four-hitter and struck out eight in the Red Devils’ 12-9 five-inning win over Geraldine in the finals of the DeKalb County tournament. Fyffe (16-2) beat Collinsville 7-4 in the semifinals to reach the championship game.
RANDY EVANS, HUEYTOWN: Tossed a no-hitter and struck out 10 in a 9-0 win over visiting Ballard Memorial (KY).
CARSON SKIPPER, HEWITT-TRUSSVILLE: Hurled a four-hitter and struck out 14 in a 3-1 win over defending 5A state champ Russellville at the Gulf Coast Classic. He also had two homers, a double and scored three runs in the tourney.

Went 8-for-9 in a three-game series sweep of Mary Montgomery. Had two home runs and six RBIs for the Bobcats.
JACOBEY HAWTHORNE, W.S. NEAL: Hit a pair of triples and drove in four runs to lift the unbeaten Blue Eagles (19-0) to a 16-3 win over Straughn.
MASON MARSH, ENTERPRISE: Collected a single, double and triple and drove in five runs as the Wildcats beat Lee-Montgomery 14-0. Enterprise plated 14 runs in the second inning. Marsh also was the winning pitcher striking out seven over three innings while allowing only one hit.
CANON CLARK, JAMES CLEMENS: Had three hits, including two doubles, and drove in four runs as the Jets (19-9) beat Ardmore 11-1 in six innings to win their fifth consecutive game and 12th in the last 14 outings.
REECE EWING, FAITH ACADEMY: Poked two home runs and had five RBIs as Faith Academy (21-2) won a slugfest over Gulfport (MS) 17-13.
MICHAEL CROWDER, GARDENDALE: Pitched a win over Etowah and was 8-of-14 at the plate as the Rockets went 4-0 for the week at the Lake Martin Classic.
ETHAN WELLS, WICKSBURG: Had three hits and two RBIs in a 14-5 win over Charles Henderson and added a triple, double and single to plate three more runs in a 20-4 win over Elmore County on Friday.
JAMES JONES, REHOBETH: Slugged two home runs and accounted for five RBIs as Rehobeth beat Curry 12-5.
MACK WISE, BRANTLEY: Collected three hits, including an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning to drive in Jake Kilcrease with the winning run as Class 1A Brantley knocked off Class 6A McAdory 12-11.
HUDSON HARTSFIELD, BRIARWOOD CHRISTIAN: Was 7-for-8 over the final two games as Briarwood (17-3) finished 4-0 at the Lake Martin Classic tournament at Alexander City. He was 4-for-4 with three RBIs in an 8-5 win over Marbury and got the save in a 4-2 win over Etowah.
SAM DOZIER, SPAIN PARK: Was red-hot at plate batting .500 in five games (7-of-14) with three doubles, five runs scored and six RBIs for the Jaguars.
AVERY COX, BROOKS: Had a two-run triple in a 4-1 win over defending state champion Sweet Water, then a triple, double and three RBIs in a 7-6 loss to Dale County, and three hits in a 10-5 win over Hamilton.
MICHAEL KILGORE, CLAY-CHALKVILLE: Was 9-of-16 hitting and stole six bases in four games for the Cougars.

Prattville Christian’s Tyler Bell Whiffs 19 to Toss First No-Hit Gem in School History

   MONTGOMERY – Prattville Christian right-hander Tyler Bell tossed the first no-hitter in PCA history last weekend to grab this week’s AHSAA Baseball Spotlight. Bell also struck out a school record 19 in the 6-0 win over Class 7A Lee-Montgomery.
     Prattville Christian, coached by Jerry Greene, improved to 13-6 on the season.
     Bell, a senior, became the 16th player in the AHSAA Record Book to strike out 19 in a seven-inning game. That total ties for third most in a seven-inning game. The record is 21, held by four pitchers including Cody Reed of Ardmore (2014), Trey Vice of Westbrook Christian (2007), Joe Payne of West End (1999) and Roy Jackson of Opelika (1970).
     According to the AHSAA Record Book, which can be found online at, six others have recorded 20 strikeouts in a seven-inning game, including Harold Lockhart, who struck out 20 in a row in a 1-0 loss to Verbena in 1953. Reed also had 20 in 2013, Adam Russell of Briarwood in 2008, Kasey Kiker of Russell County in 2005, Doug Shelton of West Morgan in 1996 and Johnny Simmons of Childersburg in 1969.
    The most strikeouts in AHSAA history dates back to 1926 when Fred “Football Freddie” Sington struck out 27 in a nine-inning 10-2 win over Jefferson County High School (Tarrant) for Phillips of Birmingham. Sington went on to earn All-America honors as a football standout for the University of Alabama playing on the 1930 National Championship team. He later played in the majors with the Brooklyn Dodgers and Washington Senators as an outfielder.
    Elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1955 and the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1972, Sington also received national acclaim thanks to the popular crooner Rudy Vallee, who wrote and recorded a song entitled “Football Freddie,” which would go on to become a nationwide hit following the 1931 Rose Bowl. Right behind Sington in the AHSAA Record Book is James “Eddie” Gordon of Marshall County (Guntersville), who whiffed 26 in an 11-inning game versus Arab that was won 1-0 in the bottom of the 11th on a solo homer by Frank Wedgeworth. Ragland’s Nick Mickler also struck out 23 in a 3-1 nine-inning win over Donoho in 2000.
    Bell’s performance edged another no-hit effort thrown by Blake Burkhalter of Northview. His seven-inning no-hitter was won 4-2 over 6A Russell County (18-2). He struck out 11.  As strong as he was, Northview still had to come from behind after making six errors in the field. The Cougars (9-9), down 2-0 to the Warriors, scored all four runs in the fifth inning as catcher Carson Meisnner tripled and Burkhalter doubled for the big hits in the rally. Russell County, which turned four double plays in the loss, won game two of the series 5-2 and a third non-area game 10-2 on Friday.
   Other highlight include:

REECE EWING, FAITH ACADEMY: The Rams’ winning pitcher slugged two home runs in a 17-13 win over Gulfport (MS). Faith (17-2) had eight home runs in the game – second most in a single game in AHSAA history. Parker Mills also had two homers, Chris Sargent, Braxton Bell, Gab Shepard and Eli Giles also had home runs in the win. Faith won the second game 12-2 over Pearl River Central (MS) with Bell slugging the Rams’ ninth homer of the day. The state record (11) was set by Ragland in a 25-2 win over Parkway Christian in 2000. Three schools, Calera (2008), Russell County (2006), Thompson (2001) and St. Paul’s Episcopal (1999) have had seven in a game.
JACOB SMITH, TYLER O’CLAIR & JAXON BUTTERWORTH, CALERA: Fired back-to-back-back no-hitters as Calera swept Jemison 17-0, 11-0 and 19-1. Smith struck out 11 with a hit batter in the 17-0 five-inning win on March 22. O' Clair struck out 10 with two walks in the  11-0 first-game victory of a doubleheader on March 23, and Butterworth followed with a no-hitter in the following 19-1 win. He struck out nine.

Coach William Booth’s prize prospect squared off against Loretto (TN) prospect Blake Tidwell as almost 50 college and pro baseball scouts, representing every major league team, looked on at Hartselle’s Sparkman Park last week. Both pitchers provided scouts with an old-fashioned pitching duel, each leaving the game after five innings allowing two hits and just one run. Wade struck out 13 in his five-inning stint, and Tidwell whiffed five. Loretto rallied to win the game 4-3 with neither pitcher getting the decision.
SAM THULLESEN, COTTAGE HILL CHRISTIAN: Delivered the clutch game-tying hit in the bottom of the seventh inning to force the game with Clarke County into extra innings tied at 6-6. The Warriors, 4-0 on the week, then won in the bottom as the Warriors (14-7) when teammate Jake Williams singled in the winning run. Three of the wins were one-run victories.
BLAKE McKENNA, BRIARWOOD CHRISTIAN: Was hit by a pitch with the bass loaded in the bottom of the eighth inning to drive in the winning run as the Lions (10-3) beat Sylacauga 8-7. Down 7-5 in extra innings, the Lions scored three runs without a base hit – but did put together three walks, three hit-by-pitches and a sacrifice fly to pull out the win.
NATE REED, FLORENCE: Singled in Zane Garrett with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift the Falcons to a 4-3 Class 6A, Area 16 win over Hazel Green.
CADEN GRIDER, SHADES VALLEY: Doubled in the tying run to tie Pleasant Grove 4-4, then scored the winning run on a wild pitch for a 5-4 win. He also picked up the victory on the mound.
CHRISTIAN WHITE, CENTRAL-FLORENCE: Had a two-run homer and bases-loaded triple to drive in five runs as Central rallied from a 9-3 deficit in the fourth inning to win 10-9. The Wildcats scored five runs in the fifth inning and two runs in the seventh.
CLAYTEN PUGH, WEST LIMESTONE: With the bases loaded in the sixth inning, Pugh drove in the winning run when he was hit by a pitch as the Wildcats rallied for seven runs in the inning to overcome a 7-1 deficit in the 8-7 win a Brewer.

The winning pitcher collected a double, single and five RBIs at the plate as the Black Bears finished the Gulf Coast Classic Spring Break baseball tournament 7-0 with a 12-9 come-from-behind win over Boaz in the finals. Peebles hurled three innings in relief. Coach Tyler Stephenson’s Black Bears (21-5) outscored opponents 68-22 in the seven wins. In an earlier win, Collier Partain hurled a five-inning no-hitter striking out seven to beat Holtville 10-0. He only faced 16 batters with one Black Bears error marring an otherwise perfect game.
KOTY FULTON-TICE, ENTERPRISE: Hurled a four-hit shutout and struck out eight to lead the Wildcats to a 5-0 win over Thompson in the Hits for Heroes Classic played at Enterprise’s Warren Field last weekend. Nathan Light followed with a 4-0 win over South Walton (FL).
SAM MOUNCE, REHOBETH: Went 8-for-9 at the plate, including five hits in the opener, as the Rebels swept Eufaula 19-5 and 12-2. Teammate Chandler Golden was also 7-of-8 in both games. Mounce had a home run, double and three singles and drove in two runs in the first game, and three hits in the nightcap. Golden had three doubles overall and five RBIs.
BRETT URBAN, BROOKS: Led the Lions’ 16-hit attack with four hits, four RBIs and three runs scored as Brooks beat Lexington 17-7.
JOSH HALL, HOMEWOOD: Was 6-of-9 at the plate in four wins on the week with 11 stolen bases, eight runs scored, five walks and three RBIs. Teammate Jake Miller also was 6-of-10 with five runs scored and Crawford Doyle had six hits with three runs scored and four RBIs. The Patriots outscored opponents 41-6 on the week.
TUCKER RHODES, WILSON: Had four hits, including a three-run homer, and drove in seven runs as the Warriors (17-3) beat Deshler 21-6.
KENNETH ADAMS, ATHENS BIBLE: Had four hits, including two doubles, scored four runs and had six RBIs in a 7-0. 14-5 sweep of Phil Campbell.
HOUSTON EDWARDS, HOKES BLUFF: Had two hits and drove in six runs in the Eagles’ 12-0 win over Glencoe.
DALTON ROBINSON, ETOWAH: Led the Blue Devils (17-3) to a 14-10, 9-4 sweep of Benjamin Russell with three hits and two RBIs in the first game and two hits and one RBI in the second game.
DAVIS BURGIN, HEWITT-TRUSSVILLE: Beat White Plains with an eight-inning 1-0 shutout as the Huskies (19-5) went 5-0 on the week. Burgin walked one and struck out nine. Hewitt also beat Central-Phenix City 11-1, Hartselle 11-0, Oxford 3-2 and John Carroll Catholic 10-0 with Ed Johnson stroking two doubles and a triple on the week to hit .533.
WILL COLLINS, HUEYTOWN: Hurled a 6-0 victory over McAdory and a 12-1 win over Milwaukee Lutheran for Hueytown (13-6). He struck out 11 versus the Jackets and eight versus the Wisconsin visitors.
COLTON LEWIS, VESTAVIA HILLS: tossed a no-hitter and struck out 12 in an 11-1 win over Spain Park.
BRAXTON CHANEY, THOMASVILLE: Hurled a 1-0 shutout win over Satsuma to complete a doubleheader sweep. He struck out 11 and allowed just three hits. The Tigers scored the winning run when Bralen Washington scored from third on a bases-loaded walk. Thomasville slugged 14 hits in a 12-5 win in the first game.
GARRET KENNEDY, WESTBROOK CHRISTIAN: Tossed a five-inning perfect game as the Warriors downed Gaston 28-0. He struck out 12 of the 15 batters he faced. Kennedy also had four hits, two RBIs and two stolen bases.
JACOB HALL, BROOKS: Hurled a five-hitter and struck out 11 to beat Cherokee 4-0. He also collected a double at the plate.
COLE HENRY, FLORENCE: Struck out 11 to lead the Falcons to a 4-3 win over Hazel Green.
SLAYDEN SWENSON, LAUDERDALE COUNTY: Struck out 10 over 6 2/3 innings and also slugged a solo homer as the Tigers nipped Lexington 4-2.
NOAH BARNETT, HACKLEBURG: Pitched a one-hitter, walked three and struck out 11 to lead the Panthers to a 13-1 win over Belgreen. He threw only 85 pitches in the seven-inning game.
JACOB McNAIRY, ATHENS: Pitched a five-hitter and struck out 13 as the Eagles beat Friendship Christian (TN) 9-0 in the Wilson Central (TN) Classic invitational tourney. He also had two hits and drove in three runs. Jack Garvin also hurled a two-hitter and struck out four in a 3-0 shutout over DeKalb County.

Bullard Steals Home to Lift Dadeville Past Reeltown

     MONTGOMERY – Dadeville High School senior infielder Tal Bullard has been practicing stealing home all season. Last week, he put that practice to the ultimate test. Standing on third base with the game tied in the top of the eighth inning versus Reeltown, Bullard raced toward home plate as the Rebels pitcher delivered a pitch.
      The steal from third in his prep career was perfectly executed with him sliding in under the tag giving the Tigers a 6-5 lead and the win, said Dadeville Coach Kyle Caldwell. It was the first home-plate steal attempt in the 5-foot-8, 120-pound speedster’s prep career.
      Bullard told the Alexander City Outlook, “I’ve done it once or twice in practice, but it was just a chance we had to take.”
      Reeltown had tied the game at 5-5 in the bottom of the seventh inning scoring three runs on one hit, four walks and one hit-by-pitch. That set up the steal attempt in the top of the eighth. Dadeville retired the side in the bottom of the inning to seal the win.
      The rare steal edged out a strong hitting performance last week by unbeaten Coosa Christian’s Jackson Justus, who s
lugged a bases-loaded double to clear the bases in the bottom of the first inning to tie the Conquerors’ game with Collinsville at 3-3. That jump-started Coosa Christian (14-0) to an 8-4 win.
      Collinsville scored three runs in the top of the first – the first time CCA has trailed all season. The double extended Justus’ current hitting streak to nine games. The Conquerors took the lead for good on Caiden Lipscomb’s two-RBI double in the third inning. Justus also pitched a three-hitter and struck out 13 in a 3-0 win over Cedar Bluff.
J.R. REYNOLDS, OPELIKA: The Texas A&M signee hurled a three-hitter and struck out 10 in a 1-0 win over Saraland at the East Alabama Classic.
The Auburn signee struck out 17 in a 3-2 win over Class 7A Smiths Station at the East Alabama Classic.
GABE SHEPARD, FAITH ACADEMY: Pitched the final two outs to notch the save in a 3-2 win over Desoto (MS) and then picked up another save in a 2-0 victory over Westmoore (OK) at the Battle of the Beach Classic in Biloxi. He also had two doubles in the win.
JEREMY BEVIS, CENTRAL-FLORENCE: Poke a three-run homer in the top of the seventh inning in a 5-4 come-from-behind win over Phil Campbell. He finished with two hits and four RBIs.
JOHN RICE, UMS-WRIGHT: Slapped a two-run single in the top of the seventh to tie the game as UMS-Wright rallied for fourth runs in the inning to edge Mary Montgomery 12-11. Rice finished with four RBIs.
BRYANT DAVIES, MARBURY: Bryant Davies’ two-out bases-loaded single down the third-base line in the final inning drove in the winning run as Marbury beat Stanhope Elmore 4-3.
HOUSTON GRISSOM, DESHLER: Singled in the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Tigers edged East Lawrence 9-7.
JACKSON DUKE, ALABAMA CHRISTIAN: Had three hits, including a single to drive in the game-winning run in the Eagles’ 7-6 win over Jemison.
THOMAS FAIN, GENEVA: Capped a 10-9 comeback with a two-out double to drive in the tying and go-ahead runs in the seventh inning. The Panthers lost the first game 5-1 and trailed 6-0 in the nightcap before rallying to win.

Other outstanding performances reported include:
DYLAN McFARLAND, SARALAND: Slugged a three-run homer and two-run double for five RBIs in a 10-2 win over Hartselle at the East Alabama Classic. The Spartans (13-8) also beat defending 6A state champion Helena 12-4 thanks to Brett Nazat’s three hits and three RBIs.
RETT FILES, GULF SHORES: Hurled a one-hitter, walked one and struck out four to beat area foe Robertsdale 2-0.
ALEX MURRAY, BAKER   : Hurled a five-inning perfect game to beat Foley 12-0. He struck out three in facing the minimum 15 batters.
JONATHAN McKITT, PARK CROSSING: Struck out 16 in a seven-inning no-hitter versus Lee-Montgomery and also had three hits himself.
COLE HENRY, FLORENCE: Tossed a no-hitter to bet Haleyville 4-0. He hurled 56 strikes in 72 pitches to strike out 10 and walked none. The Falcons scored all four runs in the fifth inning.
EASTON WILLIAMSON, AUSTIN: Had two triples, scored two runs and had two RBIs as Austin downed Columbia 12-1.
DAVID BOUTWELL, SHEFFIELD: Was 4-for-4 hitting with three RBIs and two runs scored in a 13-1 win over Covenant Christian.
ALEX BURROUGHS, RED BAY: Collected four hits and scored three runs in Red Bay’s 17-9 win over Colbert County. He also had two hits and four RBIs in an 18-15 loss to Belmont.
BRYCE PALMER, WATERLOO: Drove in six runs with three hits in a 17-0 win over Frank Hughes. He slugged a grand-slam homer in the win and also scored three runs. Palmer had two RBIs in a 13-0 win in the first game of the doubleheader to finish with eight RBIs.
RUDY FERNANDEZ, RUSSELLVILLE: Hurled a two-hit shutout with six strikeouts in a 1-0 win over Lawrence County in game one of a doubleheader sweep. Caden Parker, who drove in the game’s only run with a sacrifice fly, pitched five shutout innings in game two and Jaret Ward hurled two shutout innings as the defending Class 5A state champions beat the Red Devils again, 1-0. The Golden Tigers’ staff hurled 14 scoreless innings on the day. Noah Gist’s single in the fifth inning drove in the winning run in the winning run in game two.
ALEX NEWTON, LAUDERDALE COUNTY: Had a triple in the third inning to ignite a 13-run rally as Lauderdale County beat Elkmont 14-2. Newton finished with two hits and five RBIs.
BRAYDEN BERRYMAN, HATTON: Collected a double and homer to drive in five runs as the Hornets beat East Lawrence 12-2.
DYLAN RAY, BOB JONES: Slugged his second grand slam of the season and finished with three hits and six RBIs as the Patriots (17-4) beat Brooks 11-5.He also homered in a 16-4 win over Ardmore and drove in two runs.
BRADLEY HULIN, HAZEL GREEN: The lead-off hitter had a homer and double to drive in two runs as Trojans beat Huntsville 9-3 in the first game of a twin bill sweep. Winning pitcher Isaiah Magwood allowed no earned runs and struck out six and slugged a home run and four RBIs in the 7-2 victory in the second game.
ADAM BRAGG, WESTMINTER CHRISTIAN: Slugged a grand slam in an 18-16 win over Wagoner (OK) and had a double and two RBIs in an 8-4 win over East Limestone.
JOSH HALL, HOMEWOOD: Was 9-of-14 hitting with a homer, two RBIs and 11 runs scored for the week. He also stole five bases versus John Carroll, to up his career total to 168.
RYAN TOMLIN, ARITON: Went 4-for-4 with a single, two doubles, a triple and seven RBIs as Ariton downed Abbeville 23-2. He was also hit by a pitch. The Purple Cats won game two of the doubleheader 22-0 with Maddux Herring socking a homer, triple and double and drove in five runs.
JORDAN COACHMAN, COTTONWOOD: Struck out 15 and scattered five hits as the Bears beat Ashford 8-3. Cottonwood managed seven runs in the top of the sixth inning to erase a 3-1 deficit. Coachman also had a double and RBI single.
SCOTT ELGIN, HOOVER: Faced the minimum 21 batters in 5-0 shutout win over Cullman. He allowed one hit and struck out three.
CONNOR MILES, CLAY-CHALKVILLE: Was 7-of-10 in a doubleheader sweep over Minor and a win over Locust Fork. He finished with nine RBIs.
DYLAN REGISTER, G.W. LONG: Hurled a one-hit shutout and struck out 10 as the Rebels beat Slocomb 11-0 in the first game of a doubleheader. H had two hits and an RBI and followed with a home run, double and single as G.W. Long completed the sweep winning 11-1 in game two. Matt Snell also homered in game two.
CHRIS THORNTON, EUFAULA: Went 3-for-3 with two home runs and six RBIs as the Tigers beat Headland 14-4. He also picked up the win. Thornton added one hit and two RBIs in the second game, a 13-4 loss to the Rams.

Josh Hall Swipes 165th Stolen Base To Set New AHSAA Career Record

MONTGOMERY – Homewood High School senior Josh Hall set the AHSAA single-season stolen base record as a sophomore in 2016 with 81 in 45 games. He added another notch to his records chase earlier this week when he swiped the 165th stolen base of his prep career in an 11-1 Patriots win over John Carroll Catholic.
    Hall grabs the first AHSAA Baseball Spotlight of the 2018 season for his efforts.
    The senior outfielder spent the 2015, 2016 and 2017 seasons at Randolph in Huntsville where his dad Lee Hall served as head coach. Homewood hired Hall as its new head coach replacing Doug Gann, who moved to athletic director. Son Josh hasn’t missed a beat at his new school.
     Josh, who batted .485 last season, has signed with Ole Miss. He started the season ranked fourth on the AHSAA career stolen bases chart behind previous leader Scottie Burdeshaw of Slocomb, who had 164 steals from 2005-10 for the Red Tops. Lance Taylor of Athens Bible finished his prep career with 151 (1998-2002) and Tranon Frederick of Hackleburg was third with 146 from 2002-06. Hall started the season with 142 and has 27 in the first 14 games in 2018, including five in the win over John Carroll.
     "Just to have the opportunity to coach him the last four years and to watch him set this record has been very rewarding as coach," Coach Hall told Daniel Boyette of "(It is) doubly rewarding when you're in the third-base coaches’ box as dad. To be able to watch 165 is a feeling that is really indescribable.
     “Years ago, I walked away from being a college coach so I could be part of my kids' dreams and today was one of those special moments that confirms to me that I made the right decision to get into high school coaching."
     The 5-foot-9, 175-pound Hall now has his sights on the NFHS National Record (210), which was set by Tim Dressler of Waltonville (IL) from 1981-84. Dressler went on to earn All-America honors at the University of Missouri in the late 1980s. Hall needs 46 more this season to surpass that mark.
    Hall’s brother Carson, who graduated from Randolph last spring, set the AHSAA career saves record as a pitcher (20). He is now a college freshman hurler at Memphis.
    The stolen-base performance edged out a clutch effort by Providence Christian’s Dylan Hasty, who drove in teammate Jon Lewis for the winning run with a single in the top of the 10th inning as the Eagles beat defending 2A state champion G.W. Long 5-4 at the Southeast Invitational tourney last week. The victory was the fourth for Providence in the last five games at Skipperville, which included a 13-12 thriller that went eight innings in the same tourney last year.
     Hasty also plated a go-ahead run in the top of the eighth inning with a sacrifice fly, but the Rebels tied the game again in the bottom of the eighth when Keigan Munn executed a perfect bases-loaded, suicide squeeze bunt to the right side of the mound to drive in the tying run.
   Reliever Grayson Stewart hurled 5 2/3 innings in relief allowing three hits, one run and striking out seven to get the win. He struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh inning.

 Dylan Ray of Bob Jones poked a pair of three-run homers to finish with six RBIs in a 10-6 win over Austin. The victory was No. 100 in for Patriots Coach Jared Smith.  Cam Hill added a homer and double and winning pitcher John-Michael Riley also homered for Bob Jones.
Other top performances from the last week include:

CARSON SKIPPER, HEWITT-TRUSSVILLE: Allowed just one hit and struck out 13 in a five-inning win over Southside-Gadsden. He also batted .583 with four doubles, a triple, scored five runs and had seven RBIs as the Huskies went 4-0 for the week.
SONNY DiCHIARA, HOOVER: Had a big week for the defending 7A state champion Bucs going 7-of-8 with one home run and seven RBIs. He also drew three walks and was hit by a pitch and reached base 11 times in 12 plate appearances.
VRAE MURPHY, THEODORE: Had a walk-off home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Bobcats a 4-3 win over West Harrison (MS).
JACK SMALLWOOD, AUSTIN: Drove in the winning run in the top of the eighth inning as the Black Bears downed defending Class 5A state champion Russellville 7-6. The Tigers rebounded to win the second game of the doubleheader 11-4.
LANDON GREEN, HELENA: Fired s 2-hitter over five innings and struck out 14 to notch a 6-3 win over Thompson.
DALTON ADKISON, NEW BROCKTON: Slugged a bases-loaded triple in the third inning and scored on a throwing error to account for all his team’s runs in the Gamecocks’ 4-2 victory over Geneva.
TRISTAN WOODHAM, DALE COUNTY: Executed a perfect suicide squeeze bunt in the eighth inning to plate teammate Cole Deloney as the Warriors edged Geneva County 9-8.
TRENTON GREEN, WATERLOO: Hurled a no-hitter as Waterloo beat Tharptown 9-1. Green allowed only one walk, struck out 14 and one unearned run.
BRENDON CASE, CHELSEA: Hurled a no-hitter and struck out nine in a shutout win over Briarwood Christian. He threw just 86 pitches in the 2-0 triumph for the Hornets (12-3).
CHANDLER BEST, McGILL-TOOLEN CATHOLIC: Tossed a no-hitter and struck out 10 in a 3-0 win over Smiths Station. He walked three.
COLE HENRY, FLORENCE: Pitched a 1-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts as Florence cruised to a 7-0 victory over Buford (GA).
MADDUX HERRING, ARITON: Pitched a no-hitter into the seventh inning of the Crenshaw County Invitational tourney before yielding a one-out single to settle for a one-hitter in the 13-0 win over Highland Home. He struck out five and walked none.  Ariton led 6-0 heading into the top of the seventh but exploded for seven unearned runs. Herring finished 3-for-3 at the plate with a solo homer in the fifth inning.
TUCKER RHODES, WILSON: Led the Warriors to 10-2 win over Montgomery Academy with a 3-run triple and two-run single for five RBIs. He also pitched a 5-hitter and struck out six to get the win.
LUKE WHITAKER, VESTAVIA HILLS: Was 6-of-9 with three homers and five RBIs in three games for the Rebels.
ETHAN WELLS, WICKSBURG: Slugged two doubles, a single and drove in three runs as the Panthers beat Headland 8-3 to snap the Rams’ 10-game season-opening winning streak. He followed with a double and single and two RBIs in a 13-6 win over Bayside Academy.
TANNER JACKSON, HOUSTON ACADEMY: Had four hits, including two singles, a triple and double, and drove in four runs in the Raiders’ 17-0 win over Daleville.
MACK WISE, BRANTLEY: Slugged a grand slam to pace a 16-6 Bulldogs’ win over Straughn.
GARRETT WADE, HARTSELLE: Went 5-for-7 in a 10-7, 10-6 sweep of Grissom. He had one double and five RBIs. The left-hander hurled a one-hitter and struck out nine in a 3-1 win over Muscle Shoals.
CHRISTIAN MACLEOD, HUNTSVILLE:  Hurled a four-hitter and struck out 10 over five innings to post the win as the Panthers beat Florence 9-3. He also had three hits with a double and one RBI.
MIKE EVANS, COTTAGE HILL CHRISTIAN: Was 4-for-4 with five RBIs in a 14-0 win over Goshen.

As 21st AHSAA All-Star Sports Week Gets Underway North Sweeps South to Win Baseball Competition at Riverwalk Stadium

   MONTGOMERY – The North swept the South 9-3 and 3-2 Tuesday night at Riverwalk Stadium to sweep the all-star baseball competition at the 21st AHSAA All-Star Sports Week.
    North-South All-Star competition in softball and boys’ and girls’ soccer was also underway Tuesday night. Boys’ and girls’ cross country, added to the all-star slate this year by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) , will compete on the campus of Auburn University-Montgomery at 7:30 Wednesday morning, and the North-South boys’ and girls’ basketball games will be played at 6 and 8 p.m. at AUM Wednesday night.
   North-South volleyball competition will commence at 4 p.m. Thursday at AUM. The 58th North-South Football Game will close out the week of competition Thursday night at 7 at Cramton Bowl.
   Outfielder Garrett Bodine of Sparkman had a triple and single and two RBIs in game one for the North and had a game-winning sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh inning of game two to plate the game-winning run. The North trailed 2-1 heading into the final inning of game two but scored twice to take lead.  Winning pitcher Christian MacLeod of Huntsville closed out the game facing six batters in the final two innings. He struck out two.
    Carson Skipper of Hewitt-Trussville hurled the first three innings for the North while Will Morrison of Cullman and Brody Syer of Oxford combined with MacLeod to limit the South to just three hits overall.
    Drew Jennings of Auburn, Joey Wozniak of Northview and Jonah Smith of Sweet Water allowed just three hits combined over the first six innings and struck out six as each hurler worked two innings apiece. Ethan Wilson of Andalusia pitched the final inning and got the loss.
    Smith had a double and RBI for the South in game two and Jon Horton of Hale County singled and scored a run.
    Catcher Clay Stearns of Mountain Brook had a single and RBI to pace the North.
    Calera 6-foot-7 left-hander Jacob Smith hurled the first three innings in game one allowing two hits, two unearned runs and striking out six to get the win. Smith, Hogan Isbell of Colbert County and Garrett Wade of Hartselle combined to strike out 11.
    Gabe Shepard of Faith Academy pitched the third inning giving up three runs to get the loss for the South. Starter Herndon Akridge of St. Paul’s Episcopal hurled two innings allowing two hits, two unearned runs and struck out two. McGill-Toolen Catholic’s Eric Toth and Brayden Baggett of Marbury also pitched for the South. Baggett faced just three batters in one inning of work striking out one.
    Oneonta’s Brody Moore, son of North Coach Brandon Moore, had two hits, including a double, and two RBIs to pace the North. Garrett Bodine of Sparkman added a triple and single, scored twice and drove in two runs and picked up a run scored and RBI in game two to earn MVP honors for the North. Pelham catcher Will Pearce walked with the bases loaded and finished with two RBIs.
    South catcher Slade Gorman of Central-Phenix City and Goshen center fielder Cory Peterson each had one hit and one RBI. Tyler Robertson of Saint James had a hit in each game and played four positions in the field (second base, third base, left and center field) to earn South MVP honors.
   Coaches for the South were Chad Smith of LAMP and Tyler Dent of Andalusia. Moore and David Deerman of Jacksonville coached the North.




ALL-STAR PLAYER CHANGES: McKenzie High School wide receiver/defensive back Chris Shuford was added to the South All-Star football roster Monday night and joined the team for practice Tuesday. He will be wearing jersey No. 10 in Thursday night’s 58th North-South Football Game at Cramton Bowl. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
SEC BASKETBALL COACHES HIGHLIGHT COACHING SCHOOL: The AHSAA Summer Conference’s Coaching School moves into full swing Wednesday with football, basketball, track & field, wrestling, volleyball and cheerleading getting underway. University of Alabama men’s coach Avery Johnson, Auburn coach Bruce Pearl and Georgia coach Mark Fox, plus 2017 ACC Coach of the Year Josh Pastner of Georgia Tech, headline the basketball clinician list for Wednesday.
   Some of the state’s top high school football coaches will address the large contingent of AHSAA member school football coaches. Paul Benefield, 77-6 in this decade for the Fyffe Red Devils, will discuss how to succeed with two-way players. The Class 2A defending state champs finished 15-0 last season outscoring opponents 700-113. Benefield is 255-52 and has never had a losing season in 26 years as a head coach. Fred Yancey, who has compiled a 255-91 record at Briarwood and is 296-111-1, will discuss “Being a Professional at all Times.”     
FCA LUNCHEON FEATURES DAN REEVES: Former Denver Broncos head football coach Dan Reeves will be the keynote speaker at Thursday’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes Luncheon at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center at noon. The luncheon is free to attendees but is by reservation only.
NFHS NETWORK: All all-star competition will be webcast live over the NFHS TV Network. Links and instructions on how to subscribe can be found at The All-Star Football Game will also be broadcast live by the AHSAA Radio Network.
   The NFHS Network will start a special live-stream series entitled “30 Plays in 30 Days” over the NFHS Network featuring  a top highlight from around the country each day beginning July 19. The AHSAA will  will be featured throughout the 30 days – including Wednesday,  August 4, August 6, August 13, August 14, and August 17. The schools featured will include Briarwood Christian, Blount, Prattville, Gadsden City, Madison Academy and Russellville.
AHSAA SUMMER CONFERENCE APP: The week’s festivities can be found on the new AHSAA Mobile App, which can be downloaded free at Apple and Google stores online or by going to the following link:

Tanner Burns named Mr. Baseball and Annie Willis named Miss Softball by Alabama Sports Writers Association; Mobile Christian’s Ethan Hearn named Jimmy Smothers Courage award winner

HOOVER – Decatur’s Tanner Burns and Westminster Christian’s Annie Willis were named Mr. Baseball and Miss Softball, respectively, by the Alabama Sports Writers Association on Sunday night at the group’s 46th annual convention at the Hyatt-Wynfrey in Hoover.

In addition, Mobile Christian’s Ethan Hearn was named the recipient of the ASWA’s Jimmy Smothers Courage Award. Named after the long-time sports editor of the Gadsden Times and guiding force in the ASWA, it recognizes his commitment to local and high school sports coverage, and honors a high school athlete who has overcome adversity and shown immense courage.

Burns, expected to be a high choice in the Major League Baseball player draft this week, was selected the ASWA’s Class 6A first-team shortstop and the 6A Player of the Year when the group’s prep committee met last week to select its all-state team. Burns was also the 6A hitter of the year in 2016 as a utility player, a first-team pitcher in 2015 and first-team designated hitter as a freshman.

In 37 games for the 32-5 Red Raiders, the senior hit .467 with 18 homers, 46 RBI, 49 hits and 56 runs. He walked 29 times and struck out just six times. As a right-handed pitcher, Burns went 10-1 with a 0.88 ERA and 116 strikeouts against 22 walks, while allowing eight earned runs in 64 innings. The Auburn signee helped Decatur to the quarterfinals – where the team was ranked 32nd in the nation before its loss to Cullman.

Willis was the Pitcher and Player of the Year in Class 4A in helping her team to a runner-up finish and a 51-4-1 record. With 543 strikeouts this year, she finished her pitching career with 1,975. This year, she went 43-3-1 and had an ERA of 0.40. She pitched five no-hitters, three perfect games and 21 shutouts. Willis allowed 44 walks, 90 hits and 15 earned runs in 259 2/3 innings.

The senior hit .464 this year with 12 homers, 64 RBI, 70 hits, scored 40 runs, walked 23 times and struck out just nine times. She was a first-team all-state pitcher as a junior and sophomore and was honorable mention as a freshman. The Troy signee helped the Wildcats to a high-water mark of 14th in the country.

Hearn was honored for his courage in the face of tremendous adversity. The sophomore returned from football practice on a Thursday night last November to find his mother dead of an apparent suicide. Though his teammates and coaches rushed to his house to comfort him that night, few expected him to make the trip to Oakman early the next morning for the team’s Class 3A quarterfinal playoff game. Not only did Hearn make the trip, he made 8.5 tackles in a Mobile Christian victory and eventually helped power the Leopards to the title game.


(First place votes in parentheses)


Tanner Burns, Decatur                                 (9) 117
Bubba Thompson, McGill-Toolen              (2)   87
Jacob Heatherly, Cullman                                    80
Cody Greenhill, Russellville                                 66
Sam Praytor, Helena                                             57
Connor Jednat, UMS-Wright                               39
Taylor Hayes, Piedmont                                      37
Jonah Smith, Sweet Water                                  17
Brock Guffey, Hoover                                           13
Drew Williamson, T.R. Miller                              11

2017: Tanner Burns, Decatur
2016: Owen Lovell, Cullman
2015: Brax Garrett, Florence
2014: Cody Reed, Ardmore
2013: Keegan Thompson, Cullman
2012: Mikey White, Spain Park
2011: Daniel Koger, Huntsville
2010: Daryl Norris, Fairhope
2009: Luke Bole, Hartselle
2008: Tyler Stovall, Hokes Bluff
2007: John David Smelser, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa
2006: Del Howell, American Chr.
2005: Colby Rasmus, Russell Co.
2004: Patrick White, Daphne
2003: Joey Doan, Baker
2002: Allen Ponder, Lee-Scott Acad.
2001: Eric West, Southside-Gadsden
2000: Wade Miller, G.W. Long
1999: Matthew Maniscalco, Oxford

Annie Willis, Westminster Chr.                  (8) 115
Jenna Ergle, Sumiton Chr.                           (3) 105
Kendall Beth Sides, Sumiton Chr.                      73
Mary Katherine Tedder, Spain Park                  70
Abbey Latham, Demopolis                                  56
Josie Page, Washington Co.                                49
Lacey Fincher, Faith Acad.                                   39
Zoie Emrick, Buckhorn                                         24
Alex Wilcox, Brantley                                            23
Amy Woodham, Slocomb                                    17

2017: Annie Willis, Westminster Chr.
2016: Ashlee Swindle, Curry
2015: Lacey Sumerlin, Baker
2014: Madi Moore, Winfield
2013: Kasey Cooper, Dothan
2012: Haylie McCleney, Mortimer Jordan
2011: Shelby Holley, Pisgah
2010: Leigh Streetman, Hueytown
2009: Hilary Phillips, Ider
2008: Lindsey Dunlap, Hueytown
2007: Whitney Larsen, Vestavia Hills
2006: Anna Thompson, Grissom
2005: Tara Donaldson, Baker
2004: Anna Thompson, Grissom
2003: Holly Currie, Pisgah


2017: Ethan Hearn, Mobile Chr.
2016: Alex Wilcox, Brantley

AHSAA CLASS 7A STATE BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES Hoover Sweeps Games 2 & 3 to Capture Class 7A State Baseball Championship

     MONTGOMERY – Hoover High School senior left-handed pitcher Brock Guffey hurled a 2-hit shutout to beat Auburn 4-0 in game two of the AHSAA Class 7A State Baseball Championship Series Saturday, then hurled the final 1 1/3 innings in game three to earn the save as the Bucs captured the state crown.
   Guffey (11-0), the 7A Series MVP,  struck out 11, walked none and faced just one batter over the limit in the first-game win Saturday for Coach Adam Moseley’s Bucs (41-11). He set the pace early striking out the first three batters he faced.  Auburn center fielder Trey Woodham got a double but was thrown out at third and first baseman Carter Phillips managed a single to also reach base safely.
    Third baseman Peyton Wilson had two hits and an RBI and left fielder Brandon Agsalud had a single and two RBIs to pace Hoover.
    Hoover picked up where it left off in game three with senior Devin Cole (5-2) hurling five strong innings as the Bucs built a 6-0 lead. The Bucs shut out Auburn for 11 consecutive innings on Saturday and ran the streak with 13 counting the final two innings Friday night in game one.
     Junior first baseman Sonny DiChiara doubled in a run in the first inning to give Hoover a quick 1-0 lead. The Bucs scored five runs in the third with DiChiara doubling in another run, Drew Guffey, Brook’s brother, singling to plate another run and Ty Robinson driving in two with a double.
     Auburn, coached by Matt Cimo, finally got on the board with two unearned runs off Cole in the fifth. Cole, who got the win, allowed just one hit, walked two and struck out three before yielding to Hoover reliever Griffin Lape in the sixth.
     Woodham singled and scored to highlight the fifth for the Tigers. Auburn closed to 6-3 in the sixth and Moseley turned to his first-game winning Guffey to come in to close out the win. Guffey allowed three hits and two runs in his relief stretch but pitched out of a seventh-inning jam to get the save. Auburn’s Rowdey Jordan drove in two runs with a single to give the Tigers one last chance at the win.
    DiChiara’s two doubles paced Hoover’s eight-hit attack. Tyler Williams also had two hits while Robinson and DiChiara each had two RBIs. Shortstop Garrett Farquhar scored two runs.
    Ryan Lambert (6-2) started for Auburn and got the loss.
    Hoover’s baseball title was the school’s second. The 7A Series closed out the 2017 State Baseball Championships.


     MONTGOMERY – Auburn High School plated five runs in the bottom of the first inning and then held on to beat Hoover 9-6 in the first game of the AHSAA Class 7A State Baseball Championship Series at Paterson Field Friday night.
     The Tigers (28-10) and Bucs (39-11) move to Riverwalk Stadium Saturday morning for game two at 10 a.m. If a third game is needed in the best 2-of-3 series, it will start 30 minutes after game two concludes. All games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network.
    Both teams combined for 24 hits with Coach Adam Moseley’s Bucs out-hitting Coach Matt Cimo’s Tigers 14-10. Hoover stranded 11 runners, however, and Auburn just five. The Tigers bunched four hits in the first inning to take a quick 5-0 lead. Teddy Benda got the first of his two hits to plate one run and catcher Rawlins Cleveland added a two-run homer that hit the screen on the left-field foul pole..
     Hoover got three back in the top of the second with five hits. Drew Guffey’s double down the left-field line plated two of the runs. Auburn added another run in the bottom of the inning on Brooks Fuller’s double to center field to lead 6-3. Max Garvey homered over the left-field wall in the top of the fourth as Hoover closed the cap to 6-5. 
     Auburn answered quickly again with Benda driving in more runs with a single to left. The Tigers got another run in the fifth and Hoover managed a single run in the sixth to close out the scoring.
      Starting pitcher Drew Jennings (6-2) allowed 11 hits over 5 1/3 innings to get the win for Auburn. Ryan Lambert pitched the final inning to get the save.  Hoover starter Scott Elgin (8-4) gave up nine hits and nine runs to get the loss. He struck out four.
    Benda finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs for Cimo’s Tigers. Cleveland also had two hits and two RBIs, and Fuller finished with two hits and two RBIs. Lead-off hitter Rowdey Jordan had one hit and scored three runs.
    Garrett Farquhar, Brandon Agsalud, C.J. Gilliland, Ty Robinson, Guffey and Garvey each had two hits. Guffey finished with two RBIs.

CLASS 6A STATE BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES Helena Claims Class 6A State Crown With Two Clutch Wins at Riverwalk Stadium over Cullman

     MONTGOMERY – Helena High School built a four-run lead thanks to the clutch pitching of junior Landon Green in final game three of the AHSAA Class 6A State Baseball Championship Series at Riverwalk Stadium Friday, and then managed to hold at the end to win 5-4.
    Helena forced game three with a dramatic 3-2 win in game two Friday morning at Riverwalk Stadium thanks to another strong pitching performance by Troy Cordrey in game two. The Huskies (38-6), coached by P.J. Guy, fell behind 1-0 after one inning in the finale, but tied the game in the top of the fourth when Nick Ragsdale scored on a Cullman error.
      In the bottom of the inning, Green (11-0) turned the momentum in a big way by striking out the Bearcats’ No. 3, 4 and 5 hitters on nine pitched strikes. Helena then rallied for four runs in the top of the fifth to build a 5-1 lead. Riley Davis, Sam Praytor and Brooks Brophy each got hits and then the wheels fell off Cullman’s defense as two wild pitches and an infield error led to the four runs.
   Green, who pitched 6 2/3 innings allowing just two hits and striking out five, ran into trouble in the bottom of the seventh hitting three batters as Coach Brent Patterson’s Bearcats (38-9) scored a run and  loaded the bases. Reliever Brooks Brophy walked the first two batters he faced to make it a one-run game, but he got Carter Bowen to fly out to deep left for third out to end the game.
        Cordrey, who earned MVP honors, had one RBI in the third game. Davis and Green each had two hits.  Lovell had an RBI single and Grayson Taylor stroked a double to pace Cullman.
     In first game Friday at Riverwalk, Cullman took the lead 2-0 in the top of the fourth on Carter Bowen’s two-run single. Helena got a run back in the bottom of the inning and tied the game in the sixth. Left fielder Nick Ragsdale doubled to left to lead off the bottom of the seventh for the Huskies. Pinch runner Lawson Peoples got to third on a sacrifice by Brandon Moss and scored the winning run on pinch hitter Colton Hood’s fielder’s choice to end the game.
     Cordrey (11-2) hurled a three-hitter and struck out six to get the win for the Huskies. Will Morris (10-1) pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowed four hits and also struck out six for the Bearcats.
      Hoover and Auburn started the Class 7A Championship Series Friday night with a single game at Paterson Field at 6 p.m. The two teams will close out AHSAA State Baseball Championship Series Saturday at Riverwalk Stadium beginning at 10 a.m. All games are live-streamed by the NFHS Network.