MONTGOMERY – Gordo High School pitchers shut out Piedmont for 11 2/3 innings in the AHSAA Class 3A State Baseball Championship series, but needed a big rally to seal the Greenwave’s 9-2 win in Game 2 and sweep the series and state title at Riverwalk Stadium.
Series MVP Thomas Langdon hurled a 1-hit shutout in Game 1 Monday night, and junior Nick Ponders shut out the Bulldogs (27-14) for 4 2/3 innings in game two before Coach Matt Deerman’s squad finally rallied for two runs to tie the contest at 2-2. Coach Jonathan Pate’s Greenwave (34-7) wasted little time responding. Gordo posted five runs in the bottom of the fifth – the big hit a bases-loaded triple by junior left fielder Davis Vails that played three of his team’s five runs in that frame. Two more runs in the sixth sealed the victory and the state title – the first baseball crown in school history.
Pounders (6-0) finished with a six-hitter, allowed just one earned run, walked none and struck out three. Right fielder Collin Herring, another junior, was 4-for-4 with three runs scored and three RBIs. Pounders was also 3-for-3 with two RBIs, senior shortstop and lead-off hitter Koy Chapman had three hits and scored twice. He had the game’s only double. Langdon also had a single and RBI. Center fielder Cabel Mullenix hauled in eight putouts in the contest including two sliding catches that robbed Piedmont of possible hits.
Bailey Graves had two hits for Piedmont, coached by Mark Deerman. Michael Rogers added the big hit in the fifth for the Bulldogs, an RBI triple. Logan Pruitt, Taylor Morrow and senior hurler Taylor Hayes had the other hits. Hayes (10-5), the two-time Class 3A state football championship game MVP, pitched 5 1/3 innings. He allowed 13 hits had five strikeouts – finishing his senior year with 132 whiffs in 87 innings pitched.