Clanton 12-under baseball wins state

The Clanton 12-under baseball team won the state championship with a 7-6 win over Pell City on Tuesday. The team included Leighton Coppedge, Logan Stone, Carson Farris, Crawford Easterling, Eian Headley, Robert Davenport, Katon Elijah, Drew Edwards, Braxton Giles, Thomas Cleckler and Clayton Miller, as well as head coach B.J. Giles and assistant coaches Blake Edwards, Craig Headley, Tyler Crowson and Kenyon Easterling. (Contributed Photo)

The Clanton 12-under baseball team won the state championship with a 7-6 win over Pell City on Tuesday. The team included Leighton Coppedge, Logan Stone, Carson Farris, Crawford Easterling, Eian Headley, Robert Davenport, Katon Elijah, Drew Edwards, Braxton Giles, Thomas Cleckler and Clayton Miller, as well as head coach B.J. Giles and assistant coaches Blake Edwards, Craig Headley, Tyler Crowson and Kenyon Easterling. (Contributed Photo)

The Clanton 12-under All-stars baseball team etched their names in the history books on Tuesday with a victory over Pell City to win the state championship.

It was the perfect end to a memorable season, in which Clanton finished with a record of 22-2 under the leadership of head coach B.J. Giles and the rest of the coaching staff.

However, the historic season did not come without adversity, as Clanton entered the state competition as the No. 2 seed following a loss to Pell City in the area tournament.

The All-stars won a pair of extra inning affairs prior to facing Pell City in the final, including a contest against defending state champion Walker County.

“If we could get through that game, I knew we would have a real shot at the title,” Giles said.

Clanton outlasted Walker County 8-7 in seven innings and two games later put an exclamation point on the magical run with a 7-6 victory over Pell City.

“It got a little nervous a couple of times, but we handled it pretty good,” pitcher Eian Headley said. “We just had to keep our head down when it got tough.”

As the season progressed, Headley and Leighton Coppedge became team leaders both on and off the field.

They helped maintain the team’s focus and determination from start to finish, and allowed the talent throughout the team to take hold.

Clanton proved to be a dangerous combination of pitching and hitting, and were led by Headley who finished the season with a .672 batting average, a 1.70 ERA and was named MVP of the state tournament.

The All-stars had consistency throughout the lineup and were anchored by Coppedge, Carson Farris, Braxton Giles and Drew Edwards.

By winning the state, the team advances to play in the World Series beginning on July 22 in South Haven, Miss.

Prior to leaving for Mississippi, a farewell celebration we be held at 6 p.m. on July 21 at Clanton City Park.

The players will receive medals during a ceremony and the public is invited to attend and wish the team good luck.

“I like to treat them all as if they were my own,” Terrell said. “It thrills my heart to watch any of them play ball.”

According to Giles, the team played in a travel ball tournament prior to the season getting under way, and wound up winning all four games that they played.

That momentum carried over into a Clanton tournament that included 11 teams. Each team proved no match for the All-stars as they once again swept every game in the tournament.

“I could tell after those first couple of tournaments that I had never had a team like this before,” Giles said. “They’re beside themselves. They know that this is a big deal.”

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