Montevallo opens area play with sweep of Fultondale

Published 10:58 am Saturday, March 25, 2023

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By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

FULTONDALE – After a 1-9 start to the 2023 baseball season, the Montevallo Bulldogs have hit their stride at the right time.

After a 7-3 victory over Chilton County on Thursday, March 16 to get back in the winner’s column, the Bulldogs opened area play with a 16-0 shutout of Fultondale the following Tuesday and have now completed the sweep after a 23-1 victory over the Wildcats on Thursday night.

Montevallo picked up the win in a shortened five innings of work due to the run rule, but it was the opening inning that ultimately made the difference in a dominant effort.

In that inning alone, the Bulldogs matched their production from two days earlier, totaling 16 runs to take a 16-0 lead out of the gate.

They used six singles, three doubles, a triple, six walks and three errors in the inning to put together the 16-run start and take early command of the game.

From there, Montevallo scored one more each over the next two innings and then put five more on the board in the top of the fourth to take a 23-1 lead through four innings of play.

After the final inning came and went with no more runs crossing the plate for either side, the Bulldogs secured their 22-run victory and a 2-0 start to area play.

Montevallo had a total of 16 hits, while the Bulldogs gave up just one in the winning effort.

Kemp Swords got the start on the mound and allowed the only hit as well as a walk but he gave up no runs and struck out five. Jacob Whitson closed the final three innings and allowed one unearned run, while he walked one and struck out five.

At the plate, Keiston Ross led the team with three hits and four RBIs, while Ethan Juarez also totaled three hits and added one RBI. Zachary Shores and Blaine Carstensen both finished with two hits and two RBIs, while Swords added two hits and one RBI.

Brantley Burdk and Grayson Duckworth both finished with one hit and two RBIs in the win, while Jakob Fowler added a hit and one RBI. A total of nine different players had at least one hit in the game.