“St. Clair County are obviously in our county, so it is a rival game that we have going on,” Pell City head coach Andrew Tarver said. “Our kids came out and played well. We got good pitching from Locke St. John and Cole Billingsley. Other than that we hit the ball put in play and scored a few runs.”
Billingsley pitched three innings and earned the win off the mound. He was dominate in the second and third inning, striking out the side in both. In the third, he struck out two batters and picked a runner off at first base.
After struggling at the plate the first two innings the Panthers bats heated up in the third.
Senior Jody Cash led off the inning with a single. Sam Grimes’ sacrifice bunt moved Cash over to second base. Justin Morgan singled to left field to put a runner on the corner. Billingsley doubled to bring in Cash and Morgan to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead.
Stephen Pickren’s single scored Billingsley from second base to give Pell City a three run lead.
“It took us a while, the guy had a little velocity on the ball, so it took us a while to get use to it, Tarver said. “We haven’t played in a few days and it took us a little time to adjust.”
St. John walked out on the mound in the fourth inning and was light outs. The senior allowed struck out the side for the Panthers.
Pell City added two run in the bottom half of the inning.
Gage Bowlin led off the inning with a walk. Hunter Webster pitch ran for Bowlin. Webster stole second base and tagged up and went to third base on a Alex Jones flyout to centerfield.
Webster came in on an error on the second baseman on a Dillon Calhoun hit to make it 4-0.
Morgan put his stick to work as hit a single to right field to bring home Calhoun to make it 5-0. Billingsley recorded his third RBI of the game when he drove in Grimes to give Pell City a 6-0 lead.
St. John continued to serve up some nasty pitches to the Saints batters. He struck out two in the inning and allowed a hit. With an Auburn scout in the crowd, St. John was clocked at 89 miles per hour.
The Panthers put the game away in the bottom of the inning when Calhoun hit a double to score Jones to make it 7-0.
The Panthers were runners up in their area and will have to travel to take on Clay Chalkville in the first round of the AHSAA Class 6A playoffs.
This is the third time the 2011 senior class has made it to the post season.
Contact Lavonte Young at firstname.lastname@example.org.