Four-peat: Tigers win fourth consecutive county baseball tournament crown

Published 12:24 pm Monday, March 11, 2024

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By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

Chilton County High School took down three other county high schools to take its four consecutive Chilton County Baseball Tournament crown on March 9. The Tigers won two games on championship day on March 9 at Jack Hayes Field to win the tournament, ending with a 10-0 triumph over Thorsby High School.

CCHS scored a pair of runs in each of the first three innings in the final to take an early 6-0 lead after three innings. The Rebels were plagued by errors in the final that made finding their footing behind starter Aiden Seely tough to come by. Seely’s counterpart, Cohen Ellison, threw a near complete game going four and two-third innings and giving up just two hits and two walks while striking out five Thorsby batters. Colton Brock and Garrett Lawley each had two RBIs in the final to lead the Tigers at the plate. Brock’s two-RBI double in the fifth inning, followed by two walks, plated the 10th run to end the game in five innings.

Collier Price and Seeley collected singles for Thorsby.

“It feels awesome, and we played three really well-coached teams,” CCHS head coach Justin Veazey said. “I am excited for the seniors in their last county tournament, but we have to get a lot better.”

Thorsby and Maplesville High School got the rest of their game in to start the March 9 action, and the Rebels locked up their spot in the title game with a 15-4 win. Up 2-1 in the second inning when play was suspended, the Rebels erupted for 13 runs in the next three and two-third innings to end the game in five innings. Grayson McManus and Seeley each had three hits, two of McManus’ on doubles, and the two combined for five RBIs. Price also had three RBIs.

Aiden Abbott and Cade Smith had RBIs for Maplesville.

In the game of the day, CCHS and Jemison High School faced off in the second semifinal that proved to be one of the more exciting games of the county baseball tournament in recent years. CCHS took an early 3-0 lead in the first inning after RBI singles from Lawley and Josh Parker, and starter Corey Minor kept it right there until the top of the fifth inning.

In the inning, the Panthers found their groove at the plate, and with two men on, Daniel Flores roped an RBI single, followed by a Cooper Smitherman RBI double to cut the lead to 3-2. With two men still on base, Carter Domino dropped a single into left field to plate two runs and give Jemison the lead at 4-3.

A 1-2-3 inning for the Tigers, and an error which led to a Jemison run to make it 5-3, brought the game back to CCHS in the bottom of the sixth inning in a two-run hole. The lineup responded with five runs — two from a Stephen Cromer double and two from a J.D. Terrell single, to give them an 8-5 lead with three outs to get. Cromer was the only Tiger with multiple hits, and he and Terrell each had two RBIs.

Jemison showed fight, and three consecutive errors by CCHS, led to three unearned runs that tied the game at eight apiece.  However, Brody Pierce ended the barnburner affair with an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning.

“It was good to fight through some adversity, and we have been fighting and been in some one-run games already this year, but to get the win is huge,” Veazey said. “It is good for the guys who stepped up late in the (championship) game … We played three good teams, and they showed that at different times during all three games. I am excited for our team as a whole … Get some positive vibes in the locker room, but we need to continue to get better in all phases of the game.”

All six Chilton County high school baseball teams will continue their 2024 regular seasons with area play looming close by.