Shelby County sweeps Sylacauga to win 2nd straight area championship

Published 1:27 pm Friday, April 15, 2022

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – It has been a magical season for the Shelby County baseball team, and Thursday, April 14 brought another reason for the No. 1 team in the 5A classification to celebrate.

Fresh off a 6-2 win against Sylacauga on Tuesday, April 12, Shelby County had two chances to win the area championship on Thursday, but the Wildcats needed just one.

Hosting the Aggies to close out the final area series of the season, Shelby County broke a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the third and never looked back from there.

The Wildcats went on to score two more in the fourth and three more in the sixth to steadily pull away for a 7-1 victory to finish area play a perfect 6-0 and win their second consecutive area championship.

Now 24-3 on the season after sweeping the area runner-up, Shelby County had big games from Matthew Pearson and Carter Sheehan in the clinching win.

Pearson finished 3-for-3 at the plate with a triple, driving home two runs and scoring a run, while Sheehan finished 2-for-4 and posted two RBIs with two runs scored.

That was in addition to one hit and one RBI from Seth Hall, while Jace Bolan and Logan Starnes both finished with one hit each.

Also impressive was the performance of Jacob Fox on the mound. He picked up the complete-game victory to help lead the Wildcats to the area title, allowing one run on three hits and no walks with three strikeouts.

The opening game of the series, which put Shelby County in the driver’s seat for Thursday’s game, was won in similar fashion.

The Wildcats took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but Sylacauga responded with one in the bottom half for an early 1-1 tie.

Shelby County, however, settled in on the mound from there.

The Wildcats broke the tie in the top of the second on a two-out RBI single from Bolan, and like game two, they never looked back from there.

The Aggies didn’t score after the opening inning until the home half of the final inning, while Shelby County scored four in the top of the fourth on an RBI single from Hall and a three-run home run from Pearson.

That created more than enough cushion for the Wildcats in their 6-2 victory.

At the plate, Pearson had a big game behind a 3-for-4 effort featuring the three-run homer. The Wildcats also got one hit each from Sheehan, Connor Aderholt, Austin Wilson, Starnes, Fox, Bolan and Hall. Aderholt, Bolan and Hall all had RBIs in the win as well.

On the mound, Aderholt started the series on a high note for the Wildcats. He struck out 12 batters in the complete-game win, allowing one earned run and one unearned run on three hits and no walks.