North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

March 8, 2013

Baseball: Clay-Chalkville 5, Mortimer Jordan 4

By Erik Harris
North Jefferson News

KIMBERLY — Once again Mortimer Jordan loaded the bases in the final inning, and once again they came up just one run short as Clay-Chalkville narrowly escaped with a 5-4 victory Friday night, in the fifth-place game of the Jefferson County Schools Baseball Tournament.

After giving up three runs in the first, the Blue Devils fought their way back into a 5-3 ballgame with an inning left.

Two walks and a single loaded the bases for freshman Taylor Goodwin with one out. He grounded out, but managed to score pinch runner Kyle Woods from third, pulling the Devils to within one.

Jordan coach Shayne Carnes called on junior Hayden Yeager to pinch-hit for Justin Folse with two outs and the tying run on third. Yeager fought, but was no match for Cougar pitcher Matthew Calvert, who recorded his tenth strikeout of the game to end the Devils’ rally.

It was Jordan’s second straight one-run loss. The Devils fell by one on Wednesday night at Pinson Valley in a tournament pool-play game, and in similar fashion — Jordan had the host Indians on the ropes late, but watched two called third strikes pass by, giving Pinson a 3-2 win.

The Devils’ quick start on Wednesday was replaced by a sluggish opening inning against the Cougars, which saw pitcher Ty Miller walk two and throw a wild pitch to score the third run of the inning. The previous two came off Hayden Moore’s RBI single.

“Had a tough first inning, but after that Ty did a great job settling in and making some big pitches,” said Carnes.

Miller would develop a rhythm and go the distance in impressive fashion. The senior struck out eight Cougars while going 2-for-3 from the plate.

The home team was able to get one run back in the bottom half of the first when Garrett Suchey drove in Devlin Hodges.

However, Jordan watched a golden opportunity pass by when three straight Devils struck out looking to end the first with the bases juiced.

“We loaded the bases in the first inning with no outs and we go back-to-back-to-back strikeouts looking,” said Carnes. “That hurts.”

Suchey would deliver again in the fourth when he scorched a two-out liner into left, scoring Connor Moon and Hodges to even the contest at 3-3.

Suchey and Hodges each walked once and went 2-for-3 for the day.

Two innings later, Clay sent two more across to claim the advantage for good. Josh Jackson and Tyler Duke recorded back-to-back RBI singles for the Cougars.