MONTGOMERY – J.U. Blacksher bunched six of its 11 hits together in the bottom of the fifth inning overcome a 3-1 deficit and posted a 6-3 victory over Decatur Heritage in the first game of the best-of-three AHSAA Class 1A State Baseball Championship Series at Montgomery’s Paterson Field Wednesday afternoon.
The two teams meet again Thursday morning at 10 a.m. at Riverwalk Stadium in game two of the best-of-three series with game three scheduled for approximately 1 p.m., if needed.
Madison Academy (33-15) and American Christian (31-5), which played the first game of the 3A Championship Series Wednesday night at Paterson Field, will play game 2 of that series at 4 p.m. Thursday at Riverwalk Stadium.
Junior pitcher Bryson Hatcher hurled a four-hit shutout in game two of the AHSAA Class 2A State Baseball Championship Series Wednesday and Mobile Christian beat Fyffe 6-0 to claim its second straight state title at Montgomery’s Riverwalk Stadium.
Hatcher (10-2) threw only 95 pitches, walking one and striking out five, to get the mound win for Coach Talley Haines’ Leopards (26-12). He picked up all the runs he would need when catcher Ethan Hearn singled in two runs in the second inning to give the Leopards a 2-0 lead. Senior Hunter Avery, who pitched the 6-5 game one win Tuesday night, had two hits including an RBI double to earn 2A Championship Series MVP honors. He struck out 10 Tuesday and also slugged a two-run triple.
Chris George also had two hits and an RBI Wednesday, and Grayson Williams slugged a double and scored two runs.
Fyffe (21-12), coached by Brad Thomas, was led by Brady Carson’s double. Starter and losing pitcher Brant Rowell (7-2) had a single as did Ethan Jones and Tyler Ashley. Rowell hurled the first two innings allowing three hits, two runs and striking out one. Carson pitched the final five innings in relief yielding eight hits, four runs and striking out three.
The Red Devils reached the 2A state baseball finals for the first time in school history. The Fyffe football team was 2015 Class 2A state football runner-up and also the 2014 Class 2A state football champs.
J.U. Blacksher (25-11) meets Decatur Heritage (26-12) at Paterson Field at 4 p.m. as the Class 1A Championship Series gets underway Wednesday afternoon. Defending state champion Madison Academy (33-15) takes on American Christian (31-5) in the first game of the 3A Championship Series at 7 p.m. Wednesday night at Paterson Field.
All games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network.
Mobile Christian 6, Fyffe 5
Sophomore second baseman Trent Avery delivered a two-out, bases-loaded single in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift Mobile Christian (23-12) to a 6-5 win over Fyffe (21-11) to take a 1-0 lead in the AHSAA Class 2A State Baseball Championship Series at Montgomery’s Paterson Field Tuesday night.
The two teams meet Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. at Riverwalk Stadium in game two of the best-of-three series with game three scheduled for approximately 1 p.m., if needed.
J.U. Blacksher meets Decatur Heritage at Paterson Field at 4 p.m. as the Class 1A Championship Series gets underway Wednesday afternoon, and defending state champion Madison Academy takes on American Christian in the first game of the 3A Championship Series at 7 p.m. Wednesday night at Paterson Field.
Winning pitcher Hunter Avery (7-4), Trent Avery’s older brother, struck out 10 while scattering nine hits for the Leopards of Coach Talley Haines. He also drove in two runs with a triple in the second inning. He was thrown out at the plate, however, trying to stretch the hit into an inside-the-park home run.
Fyffe, coached by Brad Thomas, got a solid pitching performance from Will Mashburn (6-2). He went the distance yielding 10 hits and striking out three in 6 2/3 innings. Red Devils catcher Jase Jones had three hits and drove in two runs – two coming on a double in the top of the seventh inning to tie the game at 5-5. Cyle Collins and Tyler Ashley also had two hits for Fyffe.
Trent Avery and Sam Ladner also had two hits each for Mobile Christian. Luke Jones also had a single and RBI for the Leopards.
2016 SOFTBALL ALL-STAR ROSTERS
Central - Florence
Mary Katherine Tedder
Bob Jones (Administrative)
2016 BASEBALL ALL-STAR ROSTERS
P / OF
Saint James (Administrative)
Miller, T. R.
Long, G. W.
Central - Phenix City
MONTGOMERY – The Alabama High School Athletic Association is saddened to learn of the death of Talladega High School head baseball coach Andy Blair.
Blair died January 9 from injuries sustained in an automobile accident.
“Our prayers go out to the family of Coach Blair and to the players, students, teachers and community of Talladega,” Savarese said. “He has been a tremendous influence on the lives of children.”
Blair, in his 10th year as a teacher and coach, served as head coach at Coosa Central High School before becoming head coach at Talladega. He was Class of 2000 graduate of Fayetteville High School and graduated Auburn University in 2005.
The memorial service was January 12.
The Alabama High School Athletic Association Central Board of Control unanimously approved changing the current pitching rule for baseball from innings pitched to a pitch count, beginning with the 2017 AHSAA baseball season.
The action was taken at the Central Board of Control quarterly meeting at the AHSAA office Wednesday.
Lee Gann, head baseball coach at Mountain Brook High School and the chairman of the AHSAA Baseball Coaches Committee, asked the Board to adopt the change. The Baseball Coaches Committee was unanimous in its recommendation, Gann said. Alabama becomes the first state association in the NFHS’s Section 3 to adopt the pitch count as a way to regulate arm safety and becomes one of the first in the nation.
The current AHSAA Pitching Rule, adopted in 1989, states that pitchers can pitch up to 14 innings in one week but must rest three calendar days once pitching seven innings in one day or makes two appearances over consecutive days.
The Pitch Count Rule adopted will require a varsity pitcher to rest three calendar days after throwing 76 to 120 pitches in one day. The maximum pitches allowed for a junior-varsity pitcher will be 100 and for junior high or middle school 85.
“After spending time with the (AHSAA) Medical Advisory Committee last February, we understand just how important limiting pitches thrown is to the health safety of a player’s arm,” Gann said. “No two innings are the same.”
AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese lauded the Central Board’s decision as well as the leadership of Gann and the Baseball Coaches Committee.
“Our Medical Advisory Board made it clear that limiting the number of pitches thrown is much more important than innings pitched,” Savarese said. “We think this rule change is a landmark decision by the Central Board. Health and safety is a chief concern in all our sports, and this is a positive move toward making baseball safer for our student-athletes.”
Complete details of the Pitch Count Rule will be posted at www.ahsaa.com in the coming days.
The Central Board also adopted the Baseball Coaches Committee recommendation to change from the current 18 playing dates during the regular season to 28 total games for Classes 1A through 6A and 32 games in Class 7A. In addition, games played during a school’s defined “Spring Break” will not count toward total number of games allowed. The change will begin in the 2016-17 school year for the 2017 season.
In other board action Wednesday:
§ Denied an eligibility appeal from St. Paul’s Episcopal High School.
§ Heard a presentation from Chris Nix and Michael McGreevey of Knight-Eady concerning the upcoming 2015 Super 7 State Football Championships and approved the Super 7 projected expenses.
§ Approved an increase in Summer Conference registration and Expo exhibitor fees, Hall of Fame banquet ticket prices, Principal and AD Conference registration fees and AHSADCA Coaching Card fees beginning with the 2016-17 school year.
§ Tabled a vote on the baseball playoff rotation for the 2016-17 school year until after the new classification has been determined.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (July 7, 2015) – Rules changes for the 2016 baseball and softball seasons were made at rules committee meetings last month in Indianapolis. Those changes were subsequently approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Board of Directors.
Beginning with the 2016 season, umpires will be required to issue a warning to coaches before restriction to the bench/dugout or ejecting them as part of a new penalty progression to promote preventive officiating.
The revision to Rule 3-3-1 Penalty was one of two changes recommended by the NFHS Baseball Rules Committee at its June 7-9 meeting.
Previously, issuing a warning to an offending coach was optional for umpires, who will now restrict to the bench/dugout or eject coaches who commit a violation after previously being warned for a minor offense. However, coaches can still be ejected on a first offense if it is deemed to be major.
Also part of the modification to Rule 3-3-1 Penalty, coaches who receive a written warning (Rule 10-2-3) will be restricted to the bench and/or dugout for the remainder of the game.
“The new rule change has initiated a penalty progression, starting with a written warning, restriction to the bench/dugout and subsequent ejection from the contest,” said Elliot Hopkins, NFHS director of sports and student services and liaison to the Baseball Rules Committee.
The changes to Rule 3-3-1 Penalty will help to de-escalate contentious situations and allow coaches to dictate their status in the game by their behavior, Hopkins said.
“A successful game official practices preventive officiating, and this new penalty progression will allow the official to issue penalties that give the coach the opportunity to remain in the game and teach his players.”
The other change approved by the Baseball Rules Committee is an addition to Rule 3-3-1. Article “q” will state that a coach, player, substitute, attendant or other bench personnel shall not “have any physical contact, spitting, kicking of dirt or any other physical action directed toward an umpire.” The addition of article “q” serves to clarify other behaviors that would result in an ejection from the game, Hopkins said.
“Bad behavior that is being imitated from other levels has no place in education-based athletics and will not be tolerated,” Hopkins said. “If we are to continue to use sport to teach life lessons, then we have to ensure that appropriate behavior and conduct are modeled from those adults in the role of coach/teacher.”
In addition to the two rules changes, the Baseball Rules Committee approved three Points of Emphasis for the 2016 season. Points of emphasis are developed by NFHS rules committees and should receive special focus and attention by officials, coaches, players, fans and other leaders within the high school setting.
Points of Emphasis developed by the Baseball Rules Committee for the 2016 season are as follows:
In softball, one rule change was recommended by the NFHS Softball Rules Committee at its June 15-17 meeting. In the new Article 4 of Rule 2-57, the committee provided a standard definition of a “projected” substitute.
Rule 3-3-3 prohibits the use of a projected substitute, which is now defined in the new article as “a player who does not immediately participate in the game.”
“There has been some confusion among both officials and coaches about substitution procedure,” said Theresia Wynns, NFHS director of sports and officials education and liaison to the Softball Rules Committee. “Therefore, the committee felt it was necessary to clear up that process and provide coaches and officials with a standard definition of a projected substitute.”
The following Points of Emphasis were approved by the Softball Rules Committee:
According to the NFHS Athletics Participation Survey, baseball is the fourth-most popular sport for boys at the high school level with 482,629 participants in 15,789 schools. Fast-pitch softball is the fifth-most popular sport for girls with 364,297 participants in 15,225 schools during the 2013-14 season.