Gophers edge Pelham in area opener

Danny Brown connected on a first-pitch curve ball Friday night for what proved to be the game-winning home run, as Hueytown edged Pelham 3-1 in the opening game of Class 6A, Area 10 play.

Pelham&8217;s Wesley Rich recovered after allowing two hits in both the first and second innings, to pitch three perfect innings before taking the mound in the sixth. After forcing a groud ball to second base, he gave up a walk and single before the 0-for-2 Brown stepped to the plate to face Rich&8217;s 100th pitch of the game.

After the homerun, Rich

allowed two more hits, but worked his way out of the inning with his seventh strikeout of the night.

&8220;I thought Wesley Rich pitched good enough to win. You have to tip your hat to anyone who hits a home run on a 0-0 curve ball,&8221; Panthers head coach Jeff Mauldin said.

Pelham was held to five hits on the night, as Hueytown&8217;s Justin Higgens allowed just one run in the complete game win. The hits were scattered among five different players, while Steven Yeatman reached base four times off three walks and being hit once.

Pelham (11-10) traveled to Jackson-Olin last night for their second area game of the season, however results were not available at press time. They travel to Shades Valley on Wednesday before going to rival Thompson High on Friday. They meet Hoover and Hewitt-Trussville on Saturday.

In other games from staff reports:

-Shelby County splits weekend: The Shelby County Wildcats bounced back from a 10-7 loss to Jemison Friday to defeat McAdory 11-9 on Saturday with the help of a two-run home run by Justin Blankenship, who finished 2-for-4 on the day. Wesley Howard and Chuck Cofer also

collected two hits and two RBIs each in Saturday&8217;s win. Nick Oliver gave up four runs over six innings for the win.

Dustin Bunn, Aaron Howard and Graham Davis each had two hits in Friday&8217;s loss to Jemison.

-Briarwood closes Nike Gulf Coast Classic on top: After dropping a pair of games last Monday in the Nike Classic, Briarwood Christian picked up wins over Talladega County Central, 13-6, and East Limestone, 11-2, on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.

Luke Furuto collected four hits and four RBIs, coming up a single shy of the cycle on Tuesday, as he collected two doubles, a triple and a home run. Lance Coggins and Daniel Johnson each had two hits in the game.

Furuto added two RBIs off two hits on Saturday, while Jeffery Vincent added four RBI off a triple and home run. Ben Bracewell led the way with three hits.

BCS (12-6) hosted John Carroll last night to open area play. Results were not available at press time.

-Coosa Valley wins two out of three in Demopolis: Zac Taylor kept his 11-game hit streak alive through three games Saturday, while collecting five hits on the day. He was a perfect 3-for-3 in the first game of the day, a 5-2 loss to South Choctaw. Michael Klinner struck out 12 for the Rebels in the loss, while collecting two hits from the plate.

The Rebels bounced back to shut out West Alabama 15-0 and collect an 8-1 win over Sumter. Eli Freeman led the Rebels against West Alabama with a 3-for-3 performance, while Cody Browning collected six strikeouts on his way to a no-hitter on the mound.

Steven Clinkscales and Klinner each were 3-for-3 against Sumter, with Taylor striking out seven for the win.

CVA meets Marengo and Pickens on Thursday and Souther and Tuscaloosa Academy on Saturday in the Tuscaloosa Academy Invitational