North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

March 26, 2014

Spring Break baseball: Gardendale, Mortimer Jordan unbeaten in tournaments

By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News

— While many of their classmates head for the beach, many baseball players are spending their spring break playing as many games as they can cram in. And two local teams are doing very well.

Mortimer Jordan has won its first three games in its own annual Spring Break Tournament. The Blue Devils opened play Monday afternoon with a 16-9 slugfest win over Hayden, with Austin Davis going 4-for-4 at the plate with an RBI and a run scored. Taylor Goodwin drove in three runs as he went 2-for-5 with a double. For the Wildcats, Jackson Kirk had four RBIs as he went 3-for-4 with a double.

In the second game of the day, Jordan went out to an early 4-0 lead, only to see Cleveland battle back with a five-run rally in the fifth. But the Devils scored four in the bottom of the sixth to lock up an 8-5 victory.

Brandon Couch hit two triples in four at-bats and drove in three runs for the Devils, while Goodwin was 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Pitcher Wes Crawford got the win in relief, taking over after starter Dylan Burgett allowed all five Cleveland runs without an out in the fifth.

On Tuesday, Jordan edged Pleasant Grove 2-1 in a pitcher's duel, with Justin Folse (2-3) allowing just three hits and no earned runs over 5-2/3 innings. Goodwin came in to record his second save of the year.

Nathan Stover hit a run-scoring double in the fifth as part of his 2-for-3 effort, and Crawford also went 2-for-3 with an RBI.

Colby Quinn drove in the Spartans' lone run.

Round robin play continues Wednesday at Mortimer Jordan, with finals on Thursday.

Gardendale opened with three wins in the Lake Martin Tournament at Central Alabama Community College at Alexander City. In their opening game Monday, Colten Jay's base hit drove in Joseph Calvert for the winning run as the Rockets beat Central-Phenix City 3-2.

The Rockets got on the board first when Brady Sellers was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. In the fifth inning, Jay drove home Dylan Oliver on a fielder's choice before scoring on Jay's single.

Aam Hulsey gave up four hits and one run while striking our five in five innings. Sellers came in for the save in the sixth.

On Tuesday, the Rockets opened with a 6-5 squeaker over Beauregard, scoring three runs in the seventh while surviving a three-run rally in the bottom of the inning by the Hornets. Calvert ha a two-run single, while Hunter Crook was 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Dalton Moore struck out four in six innings for the win.

Later that day, Calvert slammed a two-run homer and drove in another run on a fielder's choice, as the Rockets took down Smiths Station 9-3. He also scored the victory on the mound, striking out seven while allowing three hits, three runs, two walks and two hit batsmen. Crook drove in three runs on a single and a double.

The Rockets are off Wednesday; they play Benjamin Russell in their final game Thursday.

Corner got off to a rough start in the Gulf Coast Classic tournament at Gulf Shores, as they were manhandled by Childersburg 14-0 in five innings. The Tigers scored 11 runs in the fourth inning, as Yellow Jackets pitcher Dillon McCaleb was saddled with the loss.

The Jackets play Wednesday morning against Arab, followed by another contest against Lake Hamilton, Ark.