Photo: Sardis High shortstop Blake Wright throws out a base runner during the Lion’s loss to Oneonta in the Class 4A state baseball quarterfinals on May 4 at Oneonta. (Shannon J. Allen/Sand Mountain Reporter)
By Shannon J. Allen/Sand Mountain Reporter
The Sardis High School baseball team made its final season in Class 4A the program’s best in 31 years.
The Lions recovered from a 3-10 start to reach the quarterfinals of the state baseball playoffs, where they suffered a season-ending loss at No. 8 Oneonta last Friday (May 4).
Sardis, which finished with an 18-17 record, earned its first quarterfinal appearance since 1987.
“These eight seniors we’ve got, they’re an incredible group to be able to do what they did,” Sardis head coach Kevin Vinson said. “This group won a region championship in football, was one win away from Jacksonville in basketball and then they turn around here and make this run when everybody was counting us out at spring break. I hate to see it end. I wish it would’ve ended differently for these guys, because they’re such a good group and so enjoyable to be around. It’s just tough.”
Game 1 – Oneonta 12, Sardis 2, six innings
Auburn University signee Brody Moore threw a four-hitter with seven strikeouts to power the Redskins. For Sardis, Jake Ross had two singles and Kale Walker contributed a single. Logan Gaskin drove in Sardis’ two runs with a third-inning double.
Game 2 – Oneonta 10, Sardis 2
The Redskins grabbed a 3-0 lead in the top of the third inning on an RBI double by Moore and a two-run double by Noah Camp.
Oneonta made it 6-0 in the top of the fourth by capitalizing on a hit batter, four walks and two wild pitches. The Redskins’ fourth run scored on a bases-loaded walk, their fifth run on a fielder’s choice and their sixth run on a wild pitch.
Sardis scored both its runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Pinch hitter Chase Williams ripped a double to right field, Braxton Brooks walked and Kale Walker reached on an error to load the bases for Gaskin, who delivered a two-run single cutting it to 6-2.
The Redskins scored one run in the sixth and three more in the seventh to put the game away.
Ross and Chase Williams each had a double for Sardis, while Preston Morris, Dax Lee, Blake Wright, Walker and Gaskin all singled.
“You’ve got to show up, and if you make mistakes, they’re going to make you pay for it, and that’s what they did tonight,” said Vinson. “You’ve just got to tip your hat to them. They’re a good team and we didn’t play our best tonight, but our guys don’t have anything to be ashamed of.”
Hokes Bluff swept Wilson of Florence and hosts Oneonta in the 4A semifinals this Thursday, May 10.
“If you’re playing in this game, you’re one of the top eight teams in 4A,” Vinson said. “Class 4A is a good division when you sit there and think about Oneonta, Hokes Bluff, Wilson and all the teams down south.
“A lot of people keep going back to that record. The schedule we played early on with losing three guys off our staff from last year, we knew we were going to take some lumps early. We were just hoping it would come around, and thanks to these eight seniors it did.”
Sardis reclassifies to 5A for the 2019 and 2020 seasons and will compete in Area 13 against Boaz, Crossville and Douglas.