Tigers defeat Jemison, rain

Published 5:32 pm Monday, March 13, 2017

Gage Atcheson delivered a walk-off base hit through the middle off the infield to give Chilton County a 7-6 victory over county-rival Jemison on March 11.

The bases were loaded with one out and the Tigers trailing 6-5 when Atcheson stepped into the batter’s box.

“I was just thinking fastball and to put in play somewhere to get a run in,” Atcheson said. “I figured that it could get through because they were playing a little up.”

The game-winning hit scored Dustin Cleckler and Kendall Davis who reached base earlier in the inning on an error and a walk respectively.

“He [Atcheson] had two tough at bats early on in the previous innings,” CCHS head coach Ryan Ellison said. “It was a great time for him to redeem himself.”

Atcheson was clutch on more than one occasion in the final inning, as he also showcased his defensive skills by catching a line drive and doubling up a runner at first base.

Prior to that play, Jemison (5-5) had already scored a run and was looking to break open the inning with the bases loaded and no outs.

Early on it was all Jemison, as the Panthers scored three runs in the first inning and two runs in the fourth to lead 5-0.

The second half of the game was played in constant rain that presented tricky conditions for both teams.

“The field is pretty nasty and it got worse as the game progressed,” Ellison said. “It was not easy, but both teams had to play in it.”

Senior Noah McGhar experienced a rough start by walking six batters in the first inning, which helped contribute to each of Jemison’s three runs.

After the Tigers (6-4) struggled to get the ball out of the infield the first three innings, the batting order began to create opportunities and capitalized with runs in each of the last four innings.

“We didn’t execute early in the game, but we stayed gritty with it and were able to make some things happen,” Ellison said. “We provided some pressure and it paid off for us.”

However, just as the momentum appeared to slide in favor of CCHS with the game once again deadlocked at 5-all, Jemison had an answer of its own and reestablished a 6-5 lead, as Chase Deason walked to lead things off and stole second base. He later came around to score.

Eiland Cleckler pitched in relief for CCHS and helped hold down the game through the last two innings. It was the first time appearance on the mound this season.

The Tigers win evens up the season series at 1-1 after Jemison won 4-3 on their home field on March 3.

“To beat our rivals, it means the world,” Atcheson said. “A win like this will make us want to bust our tails just like we did coming to the end today.”

The rubber match is scheduled for March 30 at 11 a.m. at Jack Hayes Field in Clanton.