KIMBERLY — Pinson Valley is a baseball team that lives primarily on its pitching.
And in Friday’s Class 5A second-round doubleheader at Mortimer Jordan, the 10th-ranked Indians not only lived, they thrived.
Pinson’s pitching duo of Colby Wingard and Wyatt Burns combined to hold the Blue Devils to six hits across both games, as the Indians swept the best-of-three series by scores of 3-2 and 2-0.
It was Burns in particular who held Jordan hitters at bay. The sidearm hurler struck out 12 batters and allowed just two hits and no walks. His pinpoint placement from one side of the plate to the other bedeviled the Devils all night.
That’s exactly what coach Shane Chappell was looking for.
“Wyatt Burns threw his tail off,” Chappell said. “He’s not even pitched in a playoff game yet. That was his first time. But that’s what we are buying into — not that we have better pitching than anybody, but nobody’s going to have more than us. We may run into a guy that’s better than us, but we have five or six guys that we have no problem in putting in a playoff game.”
It was not a perfect outing for Pinson by any means. Jordan’s pitchers, particularly Garrett Suchey and Ty Miller in the nightcap, gave the Indians all they could handle.
“There’s a lot we didn’t do well, like in the short game — bunting to get guys over. But luckily we had some guys come up and get some clutch hits,” Chappell said.
One of those was designated hitter Baker Hodge, whose single to center field in the sixth inning of the first game drove Tyler Evans home for what turned out to be the winning run. Evans hit a lead-off single, then stole second to get into scoring position.