Prep Baseball: Vikings earn playoff spot
by Johnathan Bentley
Apr 10, 2013 | 2053 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Walker side-arm pitcher Saige Harding pitches against Hayden during their Class 5A, Area 12 game at Valley Park on Tuesday. Walker swept the Wildcats 9-2 and 17-1, earning a spot in the playoffs in the process. Photo by Johnathan Bentley
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Walker’s headed back to the postseason.

The Vikings left little doubt against Hayden on Tuesday, beating the Wildcats 9-2 and 17-1 in a Class 5A, Area 12 sweep.

Walker finishes as the Area 12 runner up behind Mortimer Jordan.

“Even though we’ve got a young team, one of our goals was to get to the playoffs,” Walker coach Pat Ware said. “We’ve had our ups and downs, but we’ve accomplished that. We’ve told the guys, it’s now how you start, but how you finish. So far we’ve finished up pretty well.”

The Vikings started area play with two straight losses to Mortimer Jordan, including a one-run loss on the road.

Since then, Walker has gone a perfect 4-0 in area play.

“We had the opportunity to be area champs, but we let two games slip away from us at Mortimer Jordan. Since that series, we’ve played really well. It’s a tribute to our seniors leading us and some young guys stepping up,” Ware added.

Walker’s two seniors — Saige Harding and Quinton McCarty — were recognized between games on Tuesday.

The duo did its part against Hayden.

McCarty was 5 for 8 with five RBIs on the day while Harding added two runs and two RBIs in the second game and also pitched two innings of relief in the opener.

Walker was locked in a 2-2 game in the opener until erupting for four runs in the fifth inning.

Nick Hicks reached on an error to start the inning. After a John Michael Reed sacrifice, Logan Nix followed with an RBI-single to put Walker up for good. McCarty followed with an RBI single of his own and Brooks Wade came through with a two-run double to the left-field fence with two outs as the Vikings pushed their lead to 6-2.

Walker (15-12, 4-2) added three more runs in the sixth.

Wade got the win on the mound, allowing one earned run on six hits and one walk. He struck out five in five innings. Harding went the final two innings, allowing one hit and striking out two.

McCarty finished 3 for 4 with a double, three runs and two RBIs, Nix was 2 for 2 with two runs and an RBI while Wade was 1 for 3 with a double and two RBIs.

In the second game, Walker put the Wildcats away early scoring seven runs in the first inning and five in the second. The Vikings ended the game early thanks to a five-run fourth inning.

Bryant Atkins got the win, allowing two hits and striking out four in four innings. Stone Stephenson went the final inning, allowing one unearned run and striking out four.

Nix led the offense, going 3 for 4 with two triples, two runs and three RBIs.

McCarty was 2 for 4 with a pair of triples, two runs and three RBIs, Stephenson was 3 for 3 with a double, two runs and two RBIs, Wade finished 1 for 1 with two runs and an RBI, C.J. Robinson was 1 for 1 with two runs and an RBI, Harding was 1 for 2 with two runs and two RBIs, Atkins was 1 for 3 with two runs and an RBI and Bailey Tidwell was 1 for 3 with a run.

Walker will close the regular season at Hueytown on Monday. The game starts at 4:30 p.m.

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Sumiton Christian 7, Marion County 2

Mikah Abbott held Marion County in check on the mound and Austin Clark was perfect at the plate as the Sumiton Christian Eagles clinched the Class 1A, Area 10 title with a 7-2 victory at Guin on Tuesday.

The Eagles scored all of their runs in the first four innings and improved to 7-0 in area play.

Sumiton Christian will host Berry in a first-round playoff series next Friday. The Eagles are playoff-bound after a one-year absence.

“We like to think it’s an expectation to be in the playoffs every year,” Sumiton Christian coach Lance Blair said. “It’s pleasing to get in with as young of a team as we’ve got.”

The Eagles (15-6) missed the playoffs last season in Class 2A and also lost five seniors from the team.

“We had to replace a lot of guys. I’m really pleased with our young guys who had to come in and start,” Blair added.

Against Marion County, Abbott allowed five hits and one walk while striking out 11 in seven innings.

Clark was 4 for 4 at the plate with two runs, Austin Bice was 1 for 2 with a run while Chandler Oates, Tristan Alexander and Joseph Thompson each added hits.

There are three seniors on this year’s team: Clark, Abbott and Nathan Godwin.

Sumiton Christian hosts Marion County at 3 p.m. today in the area finale for both teams. A Sumiton Christian win would leave Marion County and Lynn tied for the area runner up spot. Marion County would then face Lynn in a play-in game on Friday. A Marion County win today would clinch the area runner up spot for the Red Raiders.

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Winfield 5, Cordova 3

Cordova is the Class 3A, Area 14 runner up.

Winfield clinched the area title with a 5-3 win at Cordova High School on Tuesday.

The Pirates led 5-0 after the third inning and the Blue Devils weren’t able to make up the deficit.

Winfield (21-6), which has won 10 straight games, is now 5-0 in Area 14 play with a home game against Cordova remaining, set for Thursday.

On Tuesday, Winfield pushed across two runs in the first inning. The Pirates added three in the third.

Cordova bounced back for three runs in the bottom of the sixth, but the Blue Devils got no closer.

Andrew Minor took the loss. He allowed five hits and struck out seven in six innings. Hunter Gilmore pitched the final inning.

Minor was also 2 for 2 at the plate. Both Jeffre Wingo and Chase Trotter had RBIs for the Blue Devils, who are now 19-7, 3-2 on the season.

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Oakman takes second in area

Oakman split a pair of home games with Lamar County on Tuesday, leaving the Wildcats as the Class 2A, Area 10 runner up.

Oakman won the first game to force a decisive tie-breaker game. Lamar County came out on top 9-5.

The Wildcats will travel in the first round of the playoffs next week.