Lions roaring into area play

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Briarwood baseball coach Lee Hall chalks it up to senior leadership.

If the Lions are able to cap a late season surge with a win over Sylacauga tomorrow night to clinch the Class 5A, Area 8 championship, he says, they’ll have done so with the help of a starting lineup that routinely features at least seven senior players.

&uot;Before the season, I told them the success of our team would depend on our senior leadership,&uot; Hall said.

And so far, the group of experienced players has been pivotol in Briarwood’s 23-10 overall record.

Kevin Pence has been a mainstay on the mound, leading the Lions with a 8-2 record and 46 strikeouts.

He also leads the team in home runs and RBIs and is third on the team with a .364 batting average.

UAB-signee Kevin Cope anchors the defense at catcher and leads the team in hitting with a .380 batting average.

Briarwood can clinch the area championship with a home win against Sylacauga. A loss to the Aggies would force a tiebreaker situation which would be settled by the second game in tomorrow’s doubleheader.

Briarwood 16, Talladega 9: The Lions jumped out to a 9-2 lead, but Talladega fought back to tie the game by the seventh inning. Pinch-hitter Jeremy Hall hit an opposite field grand slam to win the ballgame and move the Lions to 4-1 in area play.

Briarwood 7, Oxford 2: Jeffrey Vincent struck out seven in six innings to earn his fourth straight victory as the Lions won a provisional area tiebreaker. Evans Smith was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI and Brad Nichols scored two runs for the Briarwood.

Briarwood 5, Oxford 4: Sophomore Jeffrey Vincent’s single to right field drove in the winning run to win the game in the bottom of the seventh inning, giving the Lions a key area win. Grant Luke had three hits and drove in one for Briarwood. Kevin Pence (8-2) earned the decision for the Lions and went 2-for-3 with an RBI.

Sylacauga 9, Briarwood 4: The Lions dropped their first area game at Sylacauga. Catcher Kevin Cope was 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI for Briarwood.

Spain Park 5, Thompson 0: The Warriors scattered five hits and committed two errors in the shutout loss to the Jaguars. Austin Lucas struck out six and walked five in the loss for Thompson (17-13 overall).

Hillcrest 8, Thompson 3: Junior third baseman Nick Harris went 2-for-3 with a

run scored as the Warriors lost the second game in a doubleheader on the road.

Thompson 16, Hillcrest 15: Designated hitter Robert Schofield tied a state record with six hits in a game that went nine innings. Schofield had two singles, two doubles and two home runs to go along with three RBIs and five runs scored for Thompson. His homer in the top of the ninth won the game for the Warriors. Ryan Chase and Chase Myles each had three RBIs for Thompson. Deven Onarheim gave up one hit in three innings pitched to earn the win.

Thompson 4, Mountain Brook 3: Nick Harris stole first base on a dropped third strike with two outs in the sixth inning. An errant throw to first allowed Chris Myles to score from second to give Thompson the win. Robert Schofield homered for the Warriors.

Tuscaloosa Academy 10, Shelby Academy 9: The Raiders fought back from a 7-3 deficit to take a 9-7 lead but fell to Tuscaloosa in the ninth. Kevin Lackey was 3-for-4 with a double and 5 RBIs for Shelby (10-2-1). He was also charged with the loss.

Tuscaloosa Academy 8, Shelby Academy 7: The Raiders dropped their first game of the season at second-ranked Tuscaloosa Academy. Jason Stokes had a home run, a double and two RBIs for Shelby. Marcus Jones struck out four and walked three in the loss.

Shelby Academy 8, Coosa Valley Academy 0: Josh Kervin hit his first home run of the season as the Raiders shut out their cross-county rivals. Jason Stokes earned the win for Shelby as Zach Taylor was charged with the loss for CVA.

Shelby Academy 13, Cornerstone Christian 6: Colby Green had three hits and three RBIs while Cody Wright was 4-for-5 and drove in two for Shelby. Kevin Lackey earned the win for the Raiders as Cornerstone’s Jon Ray was charged with the loss. Heath Smith hit a solo home run for Cornerstone