Panthers win county crown

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 20, 2004

After winning their half of the bracket in the Shelby County Tournament in February, the Pelham Panthers finally played for the county championship last Saturday, edging Chelsea in the title game, 5-4.

Pelham has won the county championship in each of coach Mike O’Berry’s four years at the school.

&uot;We did enough to win,&uot; O’Berry said. &uot;But I don’t think we played as well as we could have played.&uot;

The Panthers (23-9) earned a fourth place finish in Class 6A, Region 6 with a 5-5 region record.

Pelham will travel to Huntsville to face Grissom in the first round of the state playoffs today at 7 p.m.

&uot;We don’t know a whole lot about them,&uot; O’Berry said. &uot;We’ve got to go up there and pitch well and minimize their chances to score. We’ve got to play well defensively.&uot;

Oak Mountain High School

The Oak Mountain Eagles were worn down by Vestavia Hills Saturday, falling to the Rebels 17-4 in the final game of a three-team round robin playoff to determine the Class 6A, Region 6 champion.

Oak Mountain (22-9), Vestavia and Spain Park all tied for first place with 7-3 records in region play.

The Eagles downed Spain Park 2-1 in Friday’s game before losing to Vestavia in the Saturday closer.

Vestavia jumped out early against the Eagles, scoring six runs in the second inning before racking up eleven more runs.

&uot;They ended up just wearing us out,&uot; Oak Mountain coach Tommy Youngblood said. &uot;I ended up taking everyone out.&uot;

Oak Mountain finished at second place in the region and will host Austin today at 6:30 p.m.

Pitcher Willl Stroup has served as the ace for the Eagles this season with a 7-1 record. He leads the team with 82 strikeouts.

Stroup signed a baseball scholarship with Birmingham Southern, and is one of four Oak Mountain players who will play college ball next season.

Catcher Jason Sandlin signed with Bevill State Community College while Jeffrey Reach signed with Central Alabama Community College and Bear Burnett accepted an offer from Samford University.

&uot;We’re going to miss our eight seniors,&uot; Youngblood said. &uot;They’ve done a good job this year.