Schley County hangs on for victory over Taylor County

Published 4:07 pm Monday, April 15, 2024

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ELLAVILLE – The Schley County Wildcats (SCHS) jumped out to a 5-0 lead over Taylor County, but had to hold on to a 6-4 victory over the Vikings on Friday at Wildcat Park.

For SCHS starting pitcher Brody Smith, it was a memorable birthday, as he allowed just three runs on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts in six innings of work. “Brody did a great job. It was his birthday today so I was glad to see him have a good day on the mound,” SCHS Head Coach Chuck Cheek said. “It was a tight strike zone we had to work with, but it was similar for both teams and that’s just how it is sometimes. We let too many lead off guys get on base in the innings, but we got out of it some. Offensively, we had some big hits. We got some guys on base. We were able to move them over.”

One of those big hits came off the bat of JuJu Salazar, who belted his first home run of the season. “JuJu got his first home run. That was great for him,” Cheek said. “We were up 5-0 and they scored two and he kind of got us the momentum back, which was great. It’s another region win for us. We’ve finished our region schedule with no losses and that’s something that we should be proud of. Taylor County is a good team. They’re well coached and they’re scrappy and we knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but our guys competed today,” Cheek continued.

The Wildcats jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. With one out, Brody Smith singled to right field and Jake Little reached on an error that allowed the runners to move to second and third. Courtesy runner Cameron Hamsley scored on a past ball and Rylan Conner hit a sacrifice fly that allowed Little to score from third.

The Wildcats struck again with two runs in the bottom of the third. With runners at second and third and one out, Salazar reached on an error that allowed Oscar Lloyd to score. Later on in the inning, Jack Clark would steal home to give the Wildcats a 4-0 lead.

SCHS added its fifth run of the game in the bottom of the fourth when Jay Kanazawa reached on an error that allowed Little to score, but the Vikings responded with two runs in the top of the fifth.

Fortunately for the Wildcats, they were able to take a 6-2 lead on Salazar’s solo home run in the bottom of the fifth. The Vikings countered with two runs in the top of the seventh, but Little, who came on in relief of Smith, was able to preserve the 6-4 victory for SCHS.

Brody Smith led the SCHS offensive attack by going 2 for 3 at the plate and Salazar went 1 for 3 with the home run and two RBIs.