Courtesy of Bentley Gray Photography
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
The Sardis High baseball team swept its way to a second straight Etowah County Schools Tournament championship earlier this month at Glencoe.
The Lions went 3-0 and outscored the competition 26 to 5 en route to the title.
“So far this year, it’s been a total team effort,” said Sardis head coach Kevin Vinson. “I wish we had more spots to give out for the [all-tournament] team, because we had several other guys who were deserving,”
Sardis defeated Southside, 12-5, in the title game on March 1. For the Lions, Russ Wiggs went 3-for-4 with two runs scored; Levi Martin went 2-for-3 with a double, three runs scored and an RBI; Carson Gillilan went 2-for-3 with a double, four RBI and a run scored; Luke Weems went 2-for-4 with two RBI; Landon Carroll had a double, an RBI and a run scored; Baylor Garrard had a hit, two RBI and run scored and Blaze Gerhart had a hit and two runs scored. In six innings, winning pitcher Andrew Felter allowed three hits, one walk and two earned runs while striking out four.
Corbin Driskell had two hits for the Panthers, who defeated Hokes Bluff, 9-8, and Gaston, 21-4, to reach the finals.
“Southside is definitely a good team, and we were able to overcome some early adversity,” said Vinson. “We allowed some runs early on that we typically don’t give up, but our kids batted back and fought to the end.”
Martin, Weems, Wiggs and Gerhart made the all-tournament team, with Wiggs (pictured above) selected as tournament MVP. For the tournament, Wiggs went 5-for-10 and pitched a complete game with 10 strikeouts. Gerhart went 4-for-9 and pitched a complete game with 11 strikeouts. Martin went 6-for-11 at the plate, while Weems went 5-for-10
“Nobody is more deserving than Russ,” said Vinson. “That kid has worked so hard since he’s been in the program. He’s been a contributor since he was a freshman, and to be able to finally see that hard work pay off with some accolades is huge for him. You want to see kids like that succeed.”
In the semifinals on September 27, the Lions posted a 2-0 shutout over Glencoe. Gerhart limited the Yellow Jackets to one hit and two walks while striking out 11. Martin went 2-for-3 with a run scored; Gillilan contributed an RBI double and a run scored and Weems had a hit and an RBI. Garrett Gaskin had the lone hit for Glencoe.
Sardis opened the tournament with a 12-0 victory over West End in five innings. Wiggs tossed a two-hit shutout with no walks while striking out 10. Trey Thornton went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, while Gillilan had three runs scored. Martin, Garrard, Felter and Carroll each had a hit.
“Luke played really good third base and hit really well throughout the tournament,” said Vinson. “Glencoe’s got some really good bats and really good pitchers, so for Blaze to go out there and perform the way he did was huge. Even though Levi is a freshman, we really don’t have anyone else in our lineup that consistently hits as hard as he does. He’s a 100 percent hustle guy who runs everything thing out.”
Vison pointed out a few other key contributors this season.
“Derrick Tarvin and Baylor Garrard have done a great job behind the plate for us. Trey has done a great job at second [base] for us, Carson has a done a great job for us at first [base], Landon goes and [catches] everything in centerfield and takes away a lot of hits.”
Also named to the all-tournament team were Corbin Driskill, Angelo Alberghina and Jordan Wood from Southside, Brady Kitchens and Austin Mann from Glencoe, Anderson Morgan and Glavine Lamberth from Hokes Bluff, Conner Barnard from West End and Conner Humphrey from Gaston.
This article was supplemented by the Sand Mountain Reporter.