Chase Jones’ walk-off leads Evangel past AISA No. 4 Bessemer Academy

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

MONTEVALLO – After giving up the lead in the top half of the final inning, the Evangel Lightning came back in a flash during the bottom of the seventh in a matchup with AISA No. 4 Bessemer Academy on Tuesday, March 19.

After a lead-off single from Weston Akin and an error on a sac bunt allowed CJ Carr to reach base and put runners on first and second with no outs, Chase Jones stepped to the plate.

Trailing 5-4, Jones took the second pitch he saw, and blasted a ball into the center-field gap, which not only allowed Akin to score with ease having already stolen third, but also saw Carr come home all the way from first to send the Lightning into a frenzy around Jones thanks to his walk-off hit for a 6-5 victory.

Jones finished the game 2-for-4 with four RBIs, which became the difference in the game.

Early in the game, Bessemer Academy struck first in the top of the first due to mistakes by Evangel. A hit batter and two errors allowed Bessemer Academy to eventually take a 1-0 lead.

An inning later, the Lightning answered thanks to a triple from Dawson Humphries. After his triple, Humphries was able to score on a fielder’s choice from Carson Monroe to tie the game 1-1 through two innings.

That seemingly gave the Lightning a spark at the plate, and in the bottom of the third, they let loose.

A single from Justin Humphries, a walk to Akin and a single from Will Ferrell led to Evangel loading the bases with no outs.

Jones then stepped up and flashed early signs of his special night. During his at bat, Justin Humphries was able to score on an error, but then Jones singled to left field to drive in the other two base runners to give Evangel a 4-1 advantage, before three consecutive outs were recorded.

Bessemer Academy then came back with two runs in the top of the fourth to quickly trim the deficit to one run at 4-3.

The Rebels then continued to battle and eventually scored two more unanswered runs—one in the sixth and one in the seventh—to grab their first lead since it was 1-0.

After the Lightning had hit a stretch where they hadn’t scored in three consecutive innings with few baserunners reaching, they somehow found some mojo in the bottom of the seventh with the meat of their order, as they pulled out a thrilling win.

Dawson Humphries went 2-for-3 for Evangel and scored one run, while five other players picked up one hit.

Jones also got the start on the mound and went the distance allowing five hits and five runs, while striking out two in the winning effort.