Billingsley backs up ranking, sweeps doubleheader over Eagles

Published 10:29 am Friday, March 31, 2023

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By Carey Reeder | Staff Writer

On March 30, Billingsley High School made an appearance in the Alabama Sports Writers Association Class 1A baseball rankings at No. 2. The Bears backed up the recognition later in the day sweeping Autaugaville High School in a doubleheader by a combined score of 42-0. The Bears posted 28 hits on the day and moved to 11-1 on the season and 3-0 in AHSAA Class 1A Area 6 play.

The Bears trail only Appalachian High School (11-3) in the ASWA Class 1A baseball rankings.

“The guys were excited about getting that recognition, and getting the Billingsley name back out there in the top 10,” Billingsley coach Jeffrey Alexander said. “We are not letting that get to our heads, and we are going to go out there and play our game.”

In game one, the Bears jumped ahead early with six runs in the first inning. Billingsley had two players in the lineup go a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate in Nathan Gilmore and Brady Caver. Gilmore had two doubles, four RBIs and three runs scored, and Caver posted a triple, three RBIs and three runs scored. Shane Shirah had a big day as well going 3-for-4, and Landon Jones made his presence felt with two doubles and an RBI. Fourteen of the Bears’ 28 hits on the day came in game one, and in the second inning,  the team posted 11 runs to put the game away early in three innings.

Jason Smith and Shirah managed the bump for the Bears combining for three innings, no hits, one walk and striking out seven hitters.

“Both games went well, and the guys were excited to finally be back on the field,” Alexander said. “I was pleased with them, and we did not have any guys get out of rhythm since the last game. Most of them did work on their own over the break, and I am proud of them for that.”

Game two was more impressive for Billingsley winning 25-0 and posting double digit runs in each of the first two innings. They equaled their game one total in hits with 14 in game two, and were led by Hunter Wyatt going 2-for-3 with a triple and four RBIs as a pinch hitter.

The Bears worked in a completely new lineup in game two, and Hudson Manning benefitted with four doubles and five RBIs. Eli Manning had a great game as well with a double, triple and four RBIs.

Eli Manning and Kyle Boice controlled the mound for three innings giving up no hits, three walks and striking out eight batters.

At 11-1, Alexander said he is trying to keep his team grounded, and focused on taking it one game at a time.

“I tell them ‘Baseball is a funny sport, and anyone can beat anybody on any day,’” Alexander said. “We need to go out there each game and play like it is their last game, last out and last at bat.”

Billingsley gets back in action on April 1 hosting Marbury High School for a doubleheader starting at noon. The Bears next Area 6 game is on April 7 traveling to Verbena High School.