Cleburne County completes its Class 4A, Area 10 baseball schedule at Lincoln this evening with a game that should start about 6:30. A win puts the Tigers in the AHSAA postseason once again.
Playing at Munford Tuesday, Cleburne County suffered its first Area 10 loss of the season. The Lions put three runs on the scoreboard in the home half of the first inning and added two insurance runs in the fifth before holding off a late Tiger rally for a 5-3 win. Cleburne County trailed 5-0 before tallying three runs in the sixth.
With one out in the sixth, Austin Harler singled to left field. Brady Padgett’s base hit to right eluded the rightfielder. Harler came all the way around to score and Padgett ended up on second base. Tyler Berry walked then Padgett advanced to third and Berry to second on a wild pitch. Cole Corkren delivered an RBI single to left to score Padgett and Berry came home on a bunt by Ross Price.
Padgett finished with two hits, including a double. Harler, Corkren, Anderson Jacks and Matthew Shortt each had one single for the Tigers.
Max Watson pitched the first two innings. He allowed three runs, two earned, on three hits and one walk while striking out two. McCain Carlile struck out one over the final four innings.
In Heflin Saturday, the Tigers edged visiting White Plains 3-1. Cleburne County took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. With one out, Harler walked and moved to second base on a wild pitch. Padgett was intentionally walked and Berry countered that move with an RBI double to center, scoring Harler. Watson’s two-out single to center got Padgett home. With the Tigers ahead 2-1 coming to bat in the fifth, Jacks produced a leadoff double. Harler bunted for a hit, advancing Jacks to third. Jacks scored when Padgett bounced into a short-to-second-to-first double play.
Watson started and pitched two scoreless innings before coming out with no one out and runners on first and third in the third. Padgett got a strikeout, a sacrifice fly and another strikeout to limit the damage to one run. Over three innings, Padgett gave up one hit and did not issue a walk. Carlile finished the game with two innings of no-hits, no-walks baseball and three strikeouts.
Berry and Harler each had two hits. Jacks, Watson and Trey Bolton added a single each.
At Anniston on April 3, Cleburne County blasted Anniston 16-0 with one run in the first, 10 in the second and five in the third. The Tigers pounded out 16 hits in gaining their fourth area win. At the top of the batting order, Jacks and Harler each went 4-for-5. Jacks drove in three runs and Harler had two RBIs.
Shortt was 2-for-2 with a walk, scored three runs and had a pair of RBIs. Bolton and Corkren had a single and three RBIs apiece. Padgett doubled for the only extra-base hit for the Tigers. He scored one run and drove in another. Price and Berry each singled and scored twice. Jeremiah Blake came home twice.
Carlile started and struck out three. Garrett Cheatwood had two strikeouts in relief.
Three teams will join Cleburne County in Heflin Saturday. Guntersville and Saks play at 10 a.m. About 12:30 p.m., Cleburne County and Saks tangle. Ohatchee meets Guntersville at 2:30 p.m. Cleburne County and Guntersville play in the late game, scheduled for 5 p.m.