Eagles sweep West Blocton in playoffs

By WESLEY HALLMAN / Sports Editor

Calera High School baseball coach Stephen Floyd knew solid pitching was pivotal to the Eagles’ success in the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 4A playoffs.

With Zac Reneau and Jeremy Hyde leading his team’s pitching staff, Floyd entered a first-round series with West Blocton confident in his two stars on the mound.

The duo didn’t let Floyd down, with Reneau shining in a 14-4 win in the series opener and Hyde showing out in a 10-2 victory in the nightcap.

“They both threw really good games,” Floyd said.

The Eagles cruised to a 14-4 victory in the opener.

Reneau allowed only three earned runs on six hits in a complete-game victory.

Reneau also led Calera offensively as he finished 4-for-4 at the plate and drove in one run.

Hyde finished 4-for-5 at the plate with a homer and drove in three runs.

Calera completed the sweep with a 10-2 win in the nightcap.

Hyde gave up only two earned runs on four hits in a complete-game victory.

Keith Dowdell led the Eagles offensively as he finished 2-for-4 at the plate with a homer and drove in one run. Dowdell led a Calera rally with his solo homer in the bottom of the fifth inning, which broke a 2-2 tie and sparked a five-run inning for the Eagles.

Reneau finished 2-for-4 at the plate and drove in one run. Coby Mize went 2-for-4 at the plate and drove in one run. Hyde finished 1-for-1 at the plate.

Floyd said the Eagles are excited about a return trip to Oak Grove, an AHSAA Class 4A, Area 8 foe. Calera (10-14) will travel to Oak Grove in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs April 27-28. The two teams will meet in a doubleheader April 27 with the first game scheduled for 1:30 p.m. and the nightcap set for 4 p.m. The if-necessary game will be held April 28 at noon.

“It’s exciting for our guys,” Floyd said. “I thought they played really well.”