Play ball: JHS wins season opener against Montevallo

Published 3:10 pm Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Jemison baseball started the 2018 season off on the right foot with an 9-1 home win over Montevallo on Feb. 19.

The Panthers were aggressive on the base paths from the start and finished the game with nine stolen bases.

The majority of the runs were the result of small ball and Jemison’s ability to successfully advance runners in scoring position.

“We did the little things that we need to do move a runner and get him in,” Jemison head coach Phillip Easterling said. “We’re going to have to be very aggressive. You’re going to have to risk it every once and a while.”

However, once runners get on base, the next step is to bring them home.

Jemison was able to do just that with three runs in the first inning and four more in the second inning.

“We just went out there and worked as a team,” Jemison second baseman Hunter Lowery said. “That’s baseball, when every individual is out there working as nine. It gets the job done, as we saw tonight.”

Cam Johnson finished a triple shy of hitting for the cycle. His highly-productive night at the plate included a two-run double and a solo home run, both to left field.

Johnson was one of four Jemison players that drove in a run during the game.

Camden Phillips started the game on the mound for the Panthers and pitched three innings, while Ryan Smith pitched four innings in relief.

The two combined for 10 strikeouts and gave up just one earned run on three hits.

“We’ve got a little more [pitching] depth than we had last year,” Easterling said. “They throw strikes, and as long as we can play defense behind them, we’ll be fine.”

According to Easterling, this year’s varsity group has shown a togetherness and willingness to learn and accept their roles on the team.

“Chemistry builds on its own,” Lowery said. “You start knowing what your capabilities are as a team.”