GAME 2: Sweet Water 6, Spring Garden 4
MONTGOMERY -- Defending state champion Sweet Water edged Spring Garden 6-4 in game two of the AHSAA Class 1A State Baseball Championship Series at Riverwalk Stadium Thursday morning to claim the Bulldogs’ second straight state title.
The sweep of the Panthers didn’t come easily, however.
Coach John Gluschick’s Bulldogs (29-9) won game on Wednesday on the strength senior Jonah Smith’s two-hit 8-0 shutout. Thursday’s game had much more suspense, however. Sweet Water scored an unearned run in the top of the third inning Shamar Lewis singled, stole second, moved to third on a scoring error and scored when Trenton Sams grounded out.
The Bulldogs post five more runs, all unearned, in the top of the fourth to take a 6-0 lead. Jonah Smith, named the Class 1A tourney MVP, and J.T. Etheridge opened the rally with back-to-back singles. Braiden Broussard reached on a fielder’s choice but Smith was thrown out at the plate. Reed Joiner loaded the bases reaching on an error and Luke Davis followed with a double down the left-field line to clear the bases for the big hit of the inning.
Coach Barrett Ragsdale’s Panthers, scoreless in the first 11 innings of the series, finally came to life in the bottom of the fourth scoring four runs of Sweet Water starter Sasha Smith. Riley Austin opened the inning with a single and scored on an infield error three batters later. Luke Welsh then delivered a bases-loaded double down the right-field line to cut the Sweet Water led to 6-4.
Sweet Water opened the sixth inning with back-to-back singles by Austin Slayton and Weston Kirk. The rally was snuffed out two batters later when Sweet Water turned a double play.
Sasha Smith (7-0), the younger brother of Jonah Smith, pitched 4 2/3 innings, allowed two hits and struck out three to get the win. Chance Broussard hurled the final 2 1/3 innings allowing two hits and no runs to get the save. Kirk went the distance for the Panthers, scattering nine hits and six unearned runs. He walked none and struck out none.
Sams finished with one hit and two RBIs. He also had one stolen base -- giving him 34 on the season. He broke the school record with his 33rd steal Wedneday night. Davis had two hits and three RBIs, and Chastain Washington had two hits and scored two runs.
Welsh’s double and three RBIs paced Spring Garden. Kirk finished with one hit and an RBI, Slayton and Austin had a single each and score a run.
Sweet Water’s title was the 10th in school history, moving the Bulldogs to second all-time behind G.W. Long, which won its 15th state crown Tuesday. Vestavia Hills and Hokes Bluff now rank third with nine state championships each.
Mobile Christian (28-9) and Lauderdale County (22-15-1) play game two of the Class 3A championship series today at 4 p.m. The Class 5A series, featuring Russellville (30-14) and Faith Academy (34-4) in a rematch from 2017, begins at 4 p.m. Thursday at Paterson Field. The Class 6A series between Helena (26-14) and Hazel Green (30-12) plays game one at 7 p.m. Both series shift to Riverwalk Stadium Friday with 5A at 10 a.m., and 6A at 4 p.m. The third game in each series will follow 30 minutes later if needed.
The Class 7A championship series opens Friday at 6 p.m. at Paterson Field with Hewitt-Trussville (32-9) facing Auburn (35-7). The 7A series close the AHSAA Championships Saturday at Riverwalk Stadium with game two at 10 a.m.
All championship series games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network.
The AHSAA Softball Championships is underway at Lagoon Park today through Saturday.
GAME 1: Mobile Christian 6, Lauderdale County 1
GAME 2: Sweet Water 8, Spring Garden 0
MONTGOMERY -- Defending state champion Sweet Water downed Spring Garden 8-0 in the opening game of the AHSAA Class 1A State Baseball Championship Series which got underway Wednesday night at Paterson Field.
Coach John Gluschick’s Bulldogs (28-9) got a super performance from senior pitcher Jonah Smith (14-2). He hurled a two-hitter, walked none and struck out 10 to get the win. Austin Slayton went the distance for Coach Barrett Ragsdale’s Panthers (26-10) allowing 12 hits and striking out four.
Sweet Water got two runs in each of the first two innings to take the lead for good. Smith slugged a double and two singles to drive in three runs for the Bulldogs. Braiden Broussard added two hits and two RBIs and Shamar Lewis had a single and two RBIs.
Riley Austin and Luke Welsh each managed a hit for Spring Garden.
The series moves to Riverwalk Stadium Thursday morning at 10 a.m. with game three, if needed, to follow 30 minutes after conclusion. The series is best 2-of-3.
Mobile Christian (27-9) and Lauderdale County (22-14-1) squared off at 7 p.m. in the Class 3A series opener Wednesday night.
All championship series games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network.
The AHSAA Softball Championships will continue at Lagoon Park Thursday morning with first games set for 9 a.m. The 56-team, seven-classification state tourney will conclude Saturday.
MONTGOMERY -- Andalusia rebounded from a 6-3 loss to Hokes Bluff in game one of the AHSAA Class 4A State Baseball Championship Series Tuesday night by sweeping the Eagles 2-1 and 10-6 at Riverwalk Stadium as the Bulldogs captured the school’s first-ever state baseball title.
The loss Tuesday at Paterson Field snapped a 19-game winning streak. Coach Tyler Dent’s Bulldogs (30-5) started a new streak in game two, however, senior Ethan Wilson, the series MVP, tossing a three-hitter in the 2-1 win. Game three, however, became a matter of timely hitting.
Tied at 3-3 in the top of the fourth inning, Gil Morgan’s double drove in the go-ahead run and Hogan Nichols singled in a run two came across thanks to wild pitches as the Bulldogs took a 7-3 lead.
Coach Mike Robertson’s Eagles (28-8) cut the lead to 7-6 with three unconventional runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth -- coming on a bases-loaded walk to Caleb McGinnis, a hit-by-pitch by Peyton Moore and a sacrifice fly by Dylan Teague.
Andalusia answered with a run in the sixth thanks to Nichols’ RBI single, and scored two in the seventh when Garrett Davis drilled a single to plate two runs.
Starting pitcher Chip Morgan (3-1) pitched 4 1/3 innings to get the win with his brother Gill Morgan shutting out Hokes Bluff over the final 2 2/3 innings to notch the save. Weston Ball (1-1) got the loss in relief.
The Eagles’ trip to the finals was the first since winning six state crowns in a row from 2003-08.
Game 2: Andalusia 2, Hokes Bluff 1
Pitchers Ethan Wilson of Andalusia and Payton Lemons of Hokes Bluff battled it out in game two of the AHSAA Class 4A State Baseball Championship Series Wednesday afternoon to set up the third game of the best 2-of-3 series.
Wilson (12-0), a senior left-hander, tossed a complete-game three-hitter to notch the win. He walked three and struck out six -- battling back from an ankle injury in the third inning when he accidentally stepped on the catcher’s mask while covering behind the plate on a play. He had his ankle taped, however, came back in with his ankle taped tightly and got out of a jam. He got stronger in the late innings to close out with the complete-game win.
Lemons pitched six innings, allowed four hits, walked one and struck out seven.
Andalusia (29-5), which had a 19-game winning streak snapped Tuesday night in a 6-3 lost to the Eagles (28-7) in game one at Paterson Field, posted both runs in the top of the third. Gil Morgan started the rally getting hit by a pitch. Wilson grounded into a force play with Morgan making the second out at second base. Wilson stole second, however, and scored on Garrett Davis’ double down the left field line. Davis then scored on on a wild pitch for what turned out to be the winning run.
Hokes Bluff right fielder Jace Stewart turned in the defensive gem of the game in the bottom of the fourth when he threw out Will Clark at the plate trying to score on a single by J.W. Jones. Catcher Houston Edwards caught the ball just up the line and tagged Clark as he slide into home.
GAME 1: Hokes Bluff 6, Andalusia 3
MONTGOMERY -- Left-hander Dylan Teague (11-3) hurled a six-hitter and struck out five to lead Hokes Bluff to a 6-3 win over Andalusia in game one of the AHSAA Class 4A State Baseball Championship Series which got underway Tuesday night at Paterson Field.
Coach Mike Robertson’s Eagles (28-6), making their first state finals appearance since winning six state titles in a row from 2003-08, also got a big game at the plate from catcher Houston Edwards, who had two hits and two RBIs. Koby Addison added two hits and Weston Ball had a single, RBI and scored two runs.
Teague walked just one and through just over 100 pitches for the night.
Andalusia (28-5), which came into the series 8-0 in four playoff series, took an early 2-0 lead with starting pitcher Jacob Cravey (10-1) driving in two runs with one hit. He went 4 1/3 innings, allowed seven hits and struck out five. It was his first loss of the season and Andalusia’s first setback since March..
Chip Morgan also had two hits for Coach Tyler Dent’s Bulldogs. Garrett Davis also had an RBI single and Ethan Wilson (11-0), who is expected to pitch game two Wednesday, had one hit and one run scored.
The series moves to Riverwalk Stadium Wednesday at 4 p.m. Game three, if needed, will follow completion of game two in the best 2-of-3 championship series.
Defending state champion Sweet Water (27-9) and Spring Garden (26-9) open the Class 1A series Wednesday at Paterson Field at 4 p.m. Mobile Christian (27-9) and Lauderdale County (22-14-1) square off at 7 p.m. in the Class 3A series opener.
All championship series games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network.
The AHSAA Softball Championships also get underway at Lagoon Park Wednesday morning with first games set for 9 a.m. The 56-team, seven-classification state tourney will continue through Saturday.
GAME 1: G.W. Long 7, Mars Hill Bible 6 (11 innings)iHillHillh
MONTGOMERY -- All-star squads for the 2018 All-Star Sports Week’s North-South boys’ baseball games have been selected.
A total of 36 outstanding juniors--18 on each team--were chosen from nominations submitted by high school coaches from across the state to participate at the 22th annual AHSAA Summer Conference and AHSADCA All-Star Games competition in Montgomery July 17 -- 19, according to an announcement by Alvin Briggs, Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA).
The North-South baseball doubleheader will be at Riverwalk Stadium on Tuesday, July 17, with the first game set for 4 p.m. The second game will following 30 minutes after its conclusion at approximately 6:30 p.m.
The AHSADCA All-Star Games also include in-state games in softball, boys’ and girls’ soccer, boys’ and girls’ basketball, volleyball, boys’ and girls’ cross country and football. The 59th North-South All-Star football game will close out the all-star competition Thursday night, July 19, at Cramton Bowl.
The AHSAA Summer Conference is a week-long event that includes sports-specific clinics and special sessions for coaches, principals, athletic directors, cheerleading coaches and officials. Also, an All-Sports Equipment Expo and other related activities are scheduled throughout the week.
Among the week’s highlights will be the Sportsmanship Luncheon honoring all schools that have not had an ejection or fine during the 2017-18 school year and the Championship Coaches Awards Banquet that includes the naming of the 2018 Making A Difference Award recipients, 2017-18 Coaches of the Year and the AHSADCA Athletic Director of the Year. Both banquets will be Friday, July 20.
Concluding the week will be the annual Officials Awards luncheon set for Saturday, July 21.
Coaches for the North Baseball All-Stars are Josh Hoyle of Corner High School and Chris Heaps of Russellville High School. Keith Lucky of Saint James is the administrative coach.
Rob Carpenter of Thomasville and Nick Richardson of Opelika are the coaches for the South squad, and Trinity Presbyterian’s Ken Whittle is the administrative coach.
In last year’s all-star competition, the North swept both games 9-3 and 3-2. The North holds a 22-11-1 advantage in the all-star competition, which began in 1997.
2018 NORTH SOUTH BASEBALL
NORTH ALL-STAR TEAM
A. H. Parker
John Marks, III
Hillcrest - Tuscaloosa
Jon Dawson Tittle
Saint James - Admin.
SOUTH ALL-STAR TEAM
Bob Bright, III
St. Paul's Episcopal
Long, G. W.
Trinity Presbyterian - Admin.
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.”
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.
IN THE CLUTCH
SONNY DICHIARA, HOOVER: 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.
JACKSON KIMBRELL, OAK MOUNTAIN: 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.
TREVOR ANDREWS, THEODORE: 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.