Fortunately for the Vikings, they have a top-notch staff of their own.
Walker held the Tigers to just one run over two games, earning a sweep of Springville in their first-round, best-of-three playoff series.
The Vikings finished off Springville 2-1 and 1-0 to advance to the second round of the Class 5A playoffs.
Bryant Atkins and Logan Nix combined to shut down the Tigers in the opener while Maverick Bahrick and Jackson Holladay teamed up to blank Springville in the second game.
“The guys showed up ready to compete and they got after it,” Walker coach Pat Ware said. “We faced two good arms and we got hits when we needed them. We felt all along that our staff would keep the games low scoring. There was never any doubt that we were going to win once we got the lead.”
Next up for Walker is a second-round series at Mortimer Jordan set for Friday.
Against Springville, Walker managed just 10 hits, but made the most of its scoring opportunities.
In Friday’s first game, Springville took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning.
Walker tied the game in the fifth. Taylor Whitley was hit by a pitch. After a sacrifice bunt, CJ Robinson singled in pinch runner Chandler Crump to notch the game at 1-1.
An inning later, Brooks Wade doubled and moved to third on Bailey Tidwell’s single. Nick Hicks drove in Wade with a ground out for the winning run.
Atkins got the victory, allowing one earned run on six hits and a walk while striking out three. Nix got the save, striking out one while allowing no hits or walks.
Walker (21-19) broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning in the second game.
Wade led off the inning with a double and came around to score on Tidwell’s RBI single.
That was all the offense Walker needed.
Maverick Bahrick went the first four innings to get the win on the mound. He allowed one hit and two walks while striking out one. Holladay went the final three innings, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out three.
Pitcher’s Pierson Paddock and Casey Mize suffered the losses on the mound for Springville (26-9).
Walker dropped two out of three games to area foe Mortimer Jordan during the regular season.
“This should be a tough series. We know a lot about each other. They’ve got a really good club. It’s tough to play at their place,” Ware said.
Mortimer Jordan (33-12) moved on with 7-6 and 7-0 wins over Pinson Valley on Friday.
Cordova sweeps Danville
For the second straight season, the Cordova Blue Devils opened the Class 3A state playoffs with a road sweep of the Danville Hawks.
Cordova advanced to the second round with 10-2 and 6-5 wins over Danville.
“We got off to a pretty good start in the first game and we battled back and kept fighting to win the second game,” Cordova coach Mark Ragsdale said.
Next up for Cordova (22-11) is a second-round series at Winfield on Friday set for 4:30 p.m.
In Friday’s opener, Clark Chance got the win, allowing two hits and two walks while striking out three in seven innings.
Cordova jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first thanks to a Logan Shumate two-run homer.
Danville tied the game at 2-2 in the third, but Cordova took the lead for good with a run in the fourth inning.
Hunter Gilmore walked and came around to score on a Taylor Trotter RBI single for a 3-2 lead. Cordova pushed across seven runs in the fifth to put the game away. Jeffre Wingo, Shumate, Chase Trotter and Garrett Woods had RBIs in the inning.
For the game, Shumate was 2 for 4 with a homer and three RBIs. Cam Honeycutt and Wingo were also 2 for 3.
Hunter Gilmore went the distance on the mound and got the win in the second game. He struck out nine in the win.
Cordova trailed 3-1 after the first inning, but got three runs in the third inning and two in the fourth to take the lead for good.
Jed Cordell had the key hit in the third inning, driving in two runs with a double for a 4-3 Cordova lead.
Both Honeycutt and Shumate scored runs in the fourth inning to push the lead to 6-3.
Danville got a pair of runs in the fifth, but got no closer.
Cordova went 1-2 against Winfield this season.
“It’s turned into a big rivalry. We managed to win one game against them this season. We are looking forward to getting another chance,” Ragsdale said.
Area baseball notes
One area team was eliminated on Friday.
Sumiton Christian dropped a pair of games at South Lamar, losing 4-2 and 9-2 in their Class 1A playoff series. The Eagles end the season at 10-13.
Two other series were pushed back to today due to rain.
In Class 4A, Dora plays at Bibb County with a double header starting at 5 p.m.
In Class 2A, Oakman plays a pair of games at Ranburne starting at 3 p.m.