Baseball playoff preview: Tigers ready for next challenge

Published 10:25 pm Friday, April 29, 2011

The road to the second round of the state baseball playoffs has been bumpy for Chilton County.

There have been injuries and a close win in the first round at Greenville despite not being able to manage a hit in the first game of the best-of-three series.

Things haven’t gotten any easier heading into Round 2, as the games—like all state high school playoff events after the devastation caused by Wednesday’s storms—were moved from Friday and Saturday to Monday and Tuesday. If the Tigers advance, they will have to play again on Friday and Saturday despite having a thin pitching staff.

A young Tigers squad has been able to overcome the adversity because of its attitude, Coach Josey Shannon said.

“They don’t get too high; they don’t get too low,” Shannon said. “That’s good because a young team is going to have more lows than highs.”

CCHS has put together a 22-15 record and will play Demopolis at 4 and 6:30 p.m. Monday and at 5 p.m. Tuesday if necessary.

Shannon said senior ace Chance Calloway would start Game 1. Others that will toe the rubber will include southpaw Cameron Cummings, freshman Blake Teel and reliever Trevor Thomas.

Shannon called Demopolis a scrappy team with solid pitching that will follow shortstop and leadoff batter Ben Pettus.

“Where he goes, the team goes,” Shannon said.

Pettus is adept at finding ways to get on base and advance once he gets there.

“He was their state championship quarterback a couple of years ago,” Shannon said. “He knows how to win. We’re taking the approach that we cannot let him beat us.”

Other series

•Verbena (9-14-1) at Maplesville (15-9)

These two squads split two games during the regular season, with Verbena winning 4-3 on March 22 and Maplesville taking an 11-6 decision two days later.

Each team won on its home field, so Maplesville hosting this second round series could be the difference—that and the host Red Devils’ deep pitching staff.

•Thorsby (27-5) at Horseshoe Bend (19-12)

Thorsby has a highly skilled team that is used to playoff pressure. And the Rebels haven’t lost since a 10-9 setback at Holtville on April 4.

THS outscored Reeltown 19-3 in two games in a Round 1 series, but Horseshoe Bend outscored Isabella 29-3, meaning this second round matchup could turn out to be a classic.