Oak Mountain shuts out Pelham in county showdown

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

NORTH SHELBY – After a complete-game, no-hit shutout against Stanhope Elmore in his first outing of the season on opening day, Jackson Kimbrell had no let down in his second start of the season going the distance again and allowing just one hit, while striking out 13 batters, to lead the Eagles to a 5-0 win against county-foe Pelham on Monday, Feb. 25.

In addition to his 13 strikeouts on the mound, the Eagles’ offense put up 13 hits at the plate, and while they left eight baserunners aboard during the game, that strong output swinging the bat led to five runs crossing the plate in the first three innings of the game before Kimbrell closed out the final four scoreless innings.

After a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the first, Kimbrell led off the bottom half of the inning by taking the second pitch he saw and driving it over the left-field wall for a home run to give himself some help.

That was then followed by a triple from Caleb Ragland one batter later, before a sac fly deep to right field drove in Ragland for a 2-0 lead through one inning of play.

Back-to-back singles from Drew Hill and Jack Wilson led off the bottom of the second inning, but two straight strikeouts from Kasey Clark helped limit the damage in the inning.

Ragland was able to pick up his second RBI of the game with a two-out single to center field, but Clark then got a fly out to in the inning, as he had tossed four strikeouts through two innings of play.

Pelham’s offense couldn’t get anything going to help Clark out on the mound, however, and went 1-2-3 for the third consecutive inning in the top of the third.

Oak Mountain came back to the plate in the bottom half and got a lead-off single from Ryan Reuse, before Jake Rivers hit the Eagles’ second homer of the game by driving the fourth pitch he saw deep and over the right-field wall to give his team a 5-0 advantage.

After a groundout, Oak Mountain got three consecutive singles from Hill, Wilson and Luke Percer to load the bases, but yet again, Clark got out of a big jam by striking out Kimbrell and forcing Ragland into a groundout.

Still though, the Eagles had put up five runs through three innings with one of the best pitchers in the state on the mound, while Pelham had shown no signs of offense.

Pelham picked up their first and only hit of the game in the top of the fifth on a single from Adam Camlic, but that marked the only inning of the game the Panthers didn’t go 1-2-3 in the game.

Rivers led the Eagles at the plate with a 2-for-3 day adding two RBIs. Ragland, Reuse, Hill, Wilson and Percer all had two hits in the game as well, while Kimbrell, Ragland and Cato added the other three RBIs.

Clark was Pelham’s biggest highlight with his lone hit, while also tossing four innings on the mound. He allowed 11 hits and five runs, but also struck out six batters. Brayden Plunkett tossed the final two innings and allowed one hit and one walk while striking out one as well.