Throughout the Walker County Baseball Tournament this week, the Yellow Jackets have relied on stringing runs together.
Saturday was no different.
Curry made up a three-run deficit with a four-run fifth inning and finished off the Walker County Baseball Tournament with a 7-6 victory over Oakman at Carbon Hill High School on Saturday.
The Yellow Jackets went 6-0 in the tournament and claimed their first county baseball championship since the tournament was reinstated in 2007.
“Throughout the tournament our kids have been resilient,” Curry coach Grant Nichols said. “In every game we’ve had one or two innings where we got going. We will have one inning where we claw back a little bit and one where we extend it a little bit more with some timely hits.”
Oakman held a 4-1 lead going into the bottom of the fifth, but Curry’s first three runners reached base in the inning and the Yellow Jackets made the most of the opportunity with Chad Gann stroking a two-run single to left field to put Curry up for good.
Curry held a 7-4 lead going into the top of the seventh, but Oakman didn’t go down without a fight. The Wildcats started a late rally. With two outs, Reilly Williams was hit by a pitch. Aaron Key and Kason Madden followed with singles to cut the gap to 7-5. The Wildcats scored their final run on a passed ball. Oakman put the tying run on base before Curry pitcher Landon Freeman got the final batter to fly out to first base.
“I was nervous. I was shaking,” Freeman said of Oakman’s late rally. “I just took a deep breath. I told coach that I came here to do it and we were able to finish it off.”
Freeman earned the victory. He allowed five earned runs on eight hits and two walks. He also hit a batter and struck out two.
Saturday’s game was the closest matchup Curry had in the county tournament.
“This game had a championship atmosphere. This is what it’s all about. If you are playing for your county’s most coveted title, it doesn’t need to be 10-2. It ought to be like this where it comes down to the last batter,” Nichols said. “Winning the county means a lot to our school. To go through the county 6-0 is hard to do. We had to go out there and earn it because it wasn’t about somebody giving it to us. It’s a good win for our kids, fans, school and community. It’s special to me.”
Oakman took an early 1-0 lead when Dylan Willcutt singled, stole second base and scored on a Zac Blanton two-out single. The Wildcats added a pair of runs in the second inning when Williams reached base and scored on an error and Key singled and came home on a Madden RBI single for a 3-0 lead.
Curry got on the board in the bottom of the second when Jaxon Aaron reached on a walk and came around to score on a Tanner Aldridge single up the middle.
The Wildcats made the score 4-1 in the fourth. Caleb Woods reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second base and scored on Willcutt’s single. Oakman left the bases loaded in the inning.
Aldridge started Curry’s fifth-inning rally with an infield single. Jarrod Owens reached on an error and both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch. Lane Oliver drew an intentional walk to load the bases and Aaron drove in Aldridge on a fielder’s choice. After another fielder’s choice, Chad Gann ripped a single to left field scoring both Oliver and Aaron to put Curry on top 5-4.
Curry added a pair of key insurance runs in the sixth inning.
Houston Harbin reached on an infield single to start the inning and both Aldridge and Owens reached on errors. Harbin scored on the second error. Aaron drove in Aldridge with a sacrifice fly for a 7-4 lead.
In the top of the seventh, Oakman’s first two batters grounded out before the Wildcats started their rally.
For Curry, Gann was 1 for 1 with two RBIs. He was also hit by a pitch twice. Franks was 1 for 3 with an RBI, Aldridge was 1 for 4 with two runs, Harbin was 1 for 4 with a run and Aaron was 0 for 3 with two RBIs and a run.
Oakman’s Willcutt finished 2 for 4 with an RBI, Madden was 2 for 4 with two RBIs, Key was 2 for 4 with a run, Blanton was 1 for 4 with an RBI, Jase Trotter was 1 for 3 and Williams scored a pair of runs.
Blanton suffered the loss. He gave up four hits, one walk, hit three batters and struck out five.
Cordova 13, Dora 2, six innings
Cordova jumped on Dora early and pulled away for a 13-2 six-inning victory in the consolation game of the Walker County Baseball Tournament Saturday morning.
The Blue Devils scored seven runs over the first two innings and closed out the game early with a six-run sixth inning.
Jeffre Wingo started the game on the mound and also had a big day at the plate for the Blue Devils. He held Dora to two hits and struck out seven in six innings to earn the win. He was also 3 for 3 with a walk and an RBI at the plate.
Cordova pounded out 16 hits in the game. Hunter Gilmore was 2 for 4 with two RBIs, Chase Trotter was 2 for 4 with a double and two RBIs, Cam Honeycutt was 2 for 4 with a double, Zac Guerra was 2 for 4 with an RBI, Andrew Minor was 1 for 2 with an RBI, Stephen Kilpatrick was 2 for 4, Taylor Trotter went 1 for 4 with an RBI and Clark Chance was 1 for 4.
For Dora, Zac Roberts and Twilley had hits.
Cordova 10, Carbon Hill 0, five innings
Cordova knocked off Carbon Hill 10-0 in five innings in a non-county tournament game at Carbon Hill High School.
Chad Russell picked up the win for the Blue Devils, striking out five in three innings of work. He allowed one hit.
On offense, Honeycutt was 3 for 4, Guerra was 2 for 3 with an RBI, Kilpatrick was 2 for 2 with an RBI, Minor was 2 for 3 with an RBI and Chase Trotter was 2 for 4. Hunter Gilmore, Russell and Chance added RBIs.
Carbon Hill had four hits in the game.
Both Chase Trotter and Taylor Trotter pitched an inning in the game for Cordova.