By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent
Dominant pitching and prolific offense propelled the Southside High Panthers to a sweep over the Shades Valley Mounties in the first round of the Class 6A state baseball playoffs on Friday (April 21) at SHS.
Southside travels to Hartselle in the second round of the playoffs on Friday, April 28.
Starting pitcher Sam Raines held the Mounties scoreless in the first game, and the Panthers took advantage of five errors from Shades Valley to earn a 9-0 victory.
In the second game, Logan Miracle and Evan Edwards combined for a no-hitter as the Panthers cruised to a 10-0 victory in six innings.
Miracle struck out 11 batters in four innings while walking four, while Edwards struck out six Mounties (13-15) to end the game.
Southside head coach Blake Bone said that the starting pitching has been crucial to his team’s success all season.
“Our starting pitching has been great all year,” Bone said. “Sam didn’t have his best stuff today in game 1, but he battled and he always does that.
“Logan threw great in game 2. He dominated with his fastball and was able to mix his breaking ball in for a strike, too. He had everything going for him, and then Evan came in and threw well.”
The Panthers (22-9) gave Miracle plenty of run support early in the second game. Tanner Snow drilled an RBI triple to drive home leadoff hitter Jarren Wright in the top of the first inning.
In the top of the second, Southside tacked on five more runs, including two more RBI from Snow. In the following inning, Snow crushed another triple and knocked in two more runs. Logan Brooks drove Snow home on the following at-bat.
Snow finished the game batting 3-for-4 with 5 RBI, two triples and one run scored.
Despite the large margin of victory in both games, Bone said there is room for improvement, both offensively and defensively.
“Defensively we didn’t get to see a whole lot because there were so many strikeouts. We didn’t get to play a lot of defense. We’ll have to work on that a lot this week in preparation for next week. We just need to continue to get better at the plate and we’ll have a chance.”