Six area baseball teams open playoffs today
by Johnathan Bentley
Apr 18, 2013 | 1106 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sumiton Christian’s Mikah Abbott pitches against Meek this season. Abbott has put together a 6-2 record on the season. The Eagles open the playoffs at home against Berry starting at 12:30 p.m. today. Photo by Johnathan Bentley
Sumiton Christian’s Mikah Abbott pitches against Meek this season. Abbott has put together a 6-2 record on the season. The Eagles open the playoffs at home against Berry starting at 12:30 p.m. today. Photo by Johnathan Bentley
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Sumiton Christian is back where it belongs — in the State Baseball Playoffs.

Five other area teams will join the Eagles as the postseason starts today.

Walker, Cordova, Oakman, Corner and Addison also made the cut this season.

In Class 5A, Walker travels to No. 10 Pinson Valley. Class 4A Corner hosts Jemison, Class 3A Cordova plays at Danville, Class 2A Oakman travels to No. 10 Ranburne and Class 1A Addison hosts Donoho.

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Berry at Sumiton Christian

After a one-year absence, the Eagles are in the postseason under head coach Lance Blair for the 12th time in 13 years.

Sumiton Christian fell short in Class 2A in 2012, but dominated area competition en route to a Class 1A, Area 10 title this season.

“With us not going last year, the No. 1 goal was to get back,” Blair said. “You can’t win it if you don’t qualify. (Getting to the playoffs) has always been an expectation at our school.”

The Eagles are the only school in Walker County hosting a first-round playoff series today.

Sumiton Christian (16-9) is scheduled to face Berry (9-7) in a best-of-three series with a double header starting at 12:30 p.m. If the teams split games, a third game will be held at noon on Saturday.

No. 8 Sumiton Christian, which returned just four starters from last year, has three seniors on the team: Mikah Abbott, Austin Clark and Nathan Godwin.

Freshman Evan Love will pitcher the opener for the Eagles against Berry, which is led by former Carbon Hill player Weston Bonner.

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Walker at Pinson Valley

Walker started the season with plenty of new faces and inexperience.

That didn’t stop the Vikings from making the postseason for the seventh straight season under coach Pat Ware.

The Vikings travel to 10th-ranked Pinson Valley for a first-round series starting today at 4:30 p.m.

Walker (15-13) got off to a slow start in 2013, but got hot before area tournament play began. The Vikings lost their first two area games to Mortimer Jordan before sweeping both Curry and Hayden to earn a playoff berth.

“Our kids played well at the right time of the year. I feel we’ve been playing good lately,” Ware said. “It’s always our goal to win, no matter who we are playing. We’ve got our hands full. They’ve got some good arms.”

Pinson Valley (26-10) enters the playoffs on a hot streak. The Indians have won 15 of their last 17 games.

Walker faced Pinson Valley earlier this season in the Charles Henderson Tournament, losing 6-4.

The Indians are a veteran team with 13 seniors on the roster.

Walker has a pair of seniors this season — Saige Harding and Quinton McCarty.

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Cordova at Danville

Cordova hits the road to open the Class 3A playoffs.

The Blue Devils, the Area 14 runner up, travel to Danville, the Area 13 champion for a double header starting at 5 p.m. today.

Cordova (24-8) is in the playoffs for the second time in three years under coach Ronnie Boggs.

The Blue Devils won just 10 games last season, but eclipsed that win total midway through the season.

Cordova won 14 out of 15 games at one point and finished second in the area after falling to Winfield 4-2 in a decisive area tie-breaker game.

The Blue Devils have three seniors on the squad: Zac Guerra, Stephen Kilpatrick and Andrew Minor.

Danville (22-14) enters the playoffs on a two-game losing streak after getting swept by West Morgan.

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Oakman at Ranburne

Oakman is in the playoffs for the second straight season.

The Wildcats (15-10) will open the postseason at Ranburne, which is located close to the Georgia state line in Cleburne County.

Oakman, which finished second in the Walker County Tournament, weathered a four-game losing streak in mid-March before getting hot. The Wildcats followed by winning seven of their next eight games.

Oakman forced a tie-breaker game against Lamar County for the 2A, Area 11 title, but the Wildcats dropped the game 9-5. Oakman’s seniors are: Reilly Williams, Andrew Welch, Aaron Key and Zack Blanton.

Ranburne (16-6), the Area 12 champ, has won 10 of its last 12 games. Today’s double header starts at 4:30 p.m.

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Jemison at Corner

Corner hosts its first-round matchup against Jemison after rolling to the Class 4A, Area 8 title this season.

The Yellow Jackets (22-13) loaded up with tough competition early in the season and finished 8-1 against Area 8 foes.

Corner brings an experienced team with eight seniors into today’s matchup. Today’s double header starts at 5 p.m.

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Donoho at Addison

Addison may have started the season 0-3, but the Bulldogs have been on a roll since then heading into today’s first-round double header against Donoho.

Addison (14-5) won the 1A, Area 11 title and takes on Donoho (8-4), which was the Area 12 runner up. Today’s double header starts at 4 pm.