Prep Baseball Playoffs: Walker ousts Muscle Shoals in sweep

No. 1 Cullman next up for Vikings

By JOHNATHAN BENTLEY, Eagle Sports Editor
Posted 4/20/17

Walker made quick work of Muscle Shoals Thursday at Valley Park. The Vikings ousted the Trojans from the playoffs, sweeping the Class 6A first-round series, 14-4 and 6-3.

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Prep Baseball Playoffs: Walker ousts Muscle Shoals in sweep

No. 1 Cullman next up for Vikings

Posted

Walker made quick work of Muscle Shoals Thursday at Valley Park.

The Vikings ousted the Trojans from the playoffs, sweeping the Class 6A first-round series, 14-4 and 6-3.

Now the real test comes with Walker (19-17) hosting No. 1 Cullman in next week’s second-round series at Valley Park. The Bearcats (31-7) moved on with a sweep of McAdory on Thursday.

Against Muscle Shoals, Walker scored 10 runs over the final three innings of the opener, winning 14-4 in six innings. The Vikings jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the second game and held off a late Muscle Shoals rally to earn the 6-3 victory.

“We pulled away in the first one and found a way to win the second. I’m proud of the guys for getting the sweep. We’ve got a lot of young guys and our three veteran seniors do a great job leading us,” Walker coach Pat Ware said. “Now we can turn our focus to Cullman. They are one of the best teams in the country, not just the state. We’ll have to be ready to compete. That will be something good for the kids next week.”

In the opener, the Vikings held a slim 6-4 lead going into the bottom of the fifth before taking control.

Zac Durham and Kaden Shelton combined for seven RBIs in the game while the duo of Chase Cross and Durham got the job done on the mound.

Walker scored four runs, all with two outs, in the second inning. Durham delivered a bases-loaded double, scoring Luke Ferrell and Shelton. Cam Robinson followed with an RBI single that scored McKay Aldridge. Durham scored the fourth run on a passed ball.

Muscle Shoals cut the gap to 4-2 with runs in the third and fourth innings. Walker added two runs in the fourth when Aldridge scored on Durham sacrifice and Shelton scored on a wild pitch.

After the Trojans got as close as 6-4, Walker added two runs in the fifth with Slade Harbin and Will Herring both scoring on a Shelton single.

Walker put the game away with a six-run sixth inning. The Vikings had five singles in the inning and took advantage of two errors. Ferrell and Harbin had RBIs in the inning.

Cross earned the win on the mound, pitching out of bases loaded jams in the third and fourth innings. He allowed four runs, three earned, on three hits and two hit batters while striking out one in four innings.

Durham shut down the Trojans over the final two innings, giving up one hit and a walk and striking out one.

At the plate, Durham finished 2 for 3 with a double, two runs and three RBIs, Robinson was 3 for 4 with a run and an RBI, Shelton was 1 for 3 with two runs and four RBIs, Ferrell was 1 for 1 with two runs and two RBIs, Harbin was 1 for 3 with two runs and an RBI and Will Herring was 1 for 3 with two runs.

Carson Word took the loss for Muscle Shoals (13-18).

In the second game, the Vikings built a 3-0 lead after the second inning and led throughout. With Walker leading 6-3, the Trojans loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the seventh inning after a walk, an error and a hit by pitch. Shelton, a freshman, got out of the jam with two pop flies and a groundout.

Ferrell got the win, allowing three runs, two earned, on four hits, three walks and three hit batters to go along with five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. Shelton pitched the final 1 1/3 innings, allowing one walk, hitting a batter and striking out one to get the save.

At the plate, Harbin was 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI, Ferrell was 1 for 3 with a double and two runs, Dylan Norris was 1 for 3 with an RBI, Taylor Whitley was 1 for 3 with two runs and Robinson was 1 for 4 with a run.

———

West Morgan sweeps Carbon Hill

West Morgan ended Carbon Hill’s season on Thursday, earning 20-0 and 8-0 wins to sweep their Class 3A series in Trinity. The Bulldogs finish 16-11.