Shelby County sweeps doubleheader with Montevallo

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

COLUMBIANA – County foes Montevallo and Shelby County met on the diamond on Tuesday, March 27, in a spring break matinee doubleheader at Shelby County High School.

While both teams have had rocky starts to the season, each is getting vital experience from young players as the Bulldogs and Wildcats have rosters that are loaded down with underclassmen.

Shelby County was able to sweep the doubleheader thanks to 13 combined hits and 16 combined runs, but Montevallo continued to show its improvement this season with 10 combined hits of its own between the two games. Recaps from both games are below.

Game 1: Shelby County 12 – Montevallo 2

It was all Shelby County from the opening at bat in the first game, as the Wildcats scored five runs in the top of the first inning before going on to take the opener by a final score of 12-2.

Jordan Deaver led the game off with a double on a line drive to left field to immediately put a runner in scoring position. The Wildcats didn’t pick up another hit in the inning, but three walks, two errors, a balk and a sacrifice fly allowed five opening-inning runs to cross the plate.

That was plenty of cushion for Kaden Cardwell, who not only got the start on the mound but went the distance for the win. Cardwell’s only blemish of the game came in the bottom of the second inning as he gave up two runs.

All of that damage came with two outs and started when Montevallo’s Demetrius Smith tripled to right field. That was followed by an RBI-single from Baxley Shores and another single by Robbie Gallagher.

The second and final run of the inning came on a fourth consecutive hit when a double drove in Shores to cut the Wildcats’ lead to 5-2.

Shelby County, however, answered back quickly with three runs in the top of the third and let that spark an offensive attack that scored at least one run in the final four innings of play as they picked up the 10-run rule win in six innings.

Cardwell ended up leading the Wildcats at the plate as well, going 3-for-3 with one RBI and a walk. On the mound, he allowed five hits and two runs while striking out three.

Chase Glover was 2-for-3 at the plate with four runs scored, while Deaver ended the game 2-for-4 with one RBI and two runs scored.

Smith led Montevallo with a 2-for-2 game at the plate and one run scored. Four total players picked up a hit for the Bulldogs.

Game 2: Shelby County 4 – Montevallo 3

The second game of the doubleheader was a thrilling one that saw the two teams held scoreless through the first two innings of action, before breaking through for five combined runs in the third inning.

Montevallo struck first in the top of the third for its first lead of the day with three runs. The Bulldogs started the inning with three consecutive singles from Gallagher, Malik Inabbinette and Cody Posey to load the bases with no outs.

After two consecutive outs, Josh Mims was able to salvage the incredible opportunity for Montevallo. He lined a bases-clearing double to center field to give the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead.

Shelby County answered back in the bottom half of the inning with two runs thanks to a double from Deaver, an RBI-single from Matt Pearson and an error.

Montevallo was still able to hold onto a slim 3-2 lead at the end of three, and that remained unbroken until the bottom half of the sixth.

The Wildcats didn’t pick up a hit in the inning, but got aggressive base running from Alex Bailey after reaching on an error. He scored the game-tying run after stealing second and third and then crossing the plate on a ground out by Glover.

The go-ahead run was scored later in the inning when Deaver hit a sac fly to right field that was deep enough to score Jesse Jones.

Austin Harris finished the game off in the top of the seventh by getting three consecutive outs to preserve the 4-3 win.

Harris allowed just five hits and three runs in the game and struck out nine batters for the win.

Deaver led the way at the plate again with a 2-for-2 performance that included one RBI and one run scored. Pearson and Riley Lewter had the other two hits for the Wildcats.

Mims led Montevallo with a 2-for-3 game including three RBIs. He also got the start on the mound and struck out eight batters while allowing just four hits.