Tigers clinch fourth straight baseball area titleBy Staff Reports Published 3:22pm Friday, April 11, 2014
By Brandon Sumrall | Special to the Advertiser
Chilton County High School’s varsity baseball team is champion of its area once again.
The Tigers clinched what is believed to be a school-record fourth consecutive area championship on Thursday with a home win against Talladega.
Having knocked off Talladega on Wednesday night, 13-0, Chilton County needed just one win in the two-game series to clinch the area title.
A 12-2 win by CCHS in Game 1 locked up the title, while a 14-2 win in Game 2 of the night was icing on the cake.
Visiting Talladega loaded the bases in the top of the first inning, but a two-out ground ball to first baseman Trenton Bishop brought the top half of the inning to an end.
The hosts loaded the bases themselves in the bottom half of the first inning, and with four consecutive singles took a three-run lead.
The Tigers added two more runs in the bottom of the third inning as Minor and Cade Hatch crossed home plate to extend the lead to five.
J.P. Ratliff and the Chilton County defense continued their shutout of Talladega through the top half of the fourth inning, while the offense added four more runs in the bottom half of the inning.
After four innings of play, Chilton County led 10-0.
Talladega ended the shutout in the top of the fifth inning by driving in two runs, but a two-run single for Hatch allowed Grant Deavers and Blake Teel to cross the plate and bring Game 1 to a close via the 10-run mercy rule.
Ratliff pitched five innings for Chilton County while allowing two earned runs on four hits and two walks while striking out four.
Hatch and Bishop both went 2-for-3 at the plate for Chilton County with two singles and three RBI.
Talladega struck first in Game 2, picking up two runs during the top half of the second inning.
Chilton’s Griffin Price picked up two RBI in the bottom half of the inning with an infield single, while Corbin Bice knocked in another run as Chilton County picked up seven runs in the home half of the second inning.
The Tiger defense would make short work of Talladega in the top of the third, retiring the side in order.
Chilton County extended its lead by adding two more runs in the bottom half of the inning to increase its lead to 10-2 after three innings of play.
A Dusin Cleckler two-run single along with a Price RBI single helped yield four more Chilton County runs in the top half of the fourth inning.
Chilton County took a 14-2 lead to the top half of the fifth inning. Four Talladega batters and three outs later, it was celebration time for the area champs.
“It’s funny, because my ninth grade year we set out to leave a legacy behind us,” Chilton senior J.D. Minor said. “Now that dream has become reality. I’m just glad to be a small part of the big picture. It really shows the hard work and dedication that every player and coach has poured into this program.”
Tyler Henderson got the start for Chilton County on the mound in Game 2 and allowed one hit and one walk in two innings pitched.
Minor led at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two singles and an RBI.