Warhawks are Kings of the South
By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
In this case, late was definitely better than never.
Although they came up short in their first two opportunities to wrap up the Alabama Community College Conference south division championship, the Jefferson Davis Community College Warhawks came through on their third and final chance Saturday when they knocked off the Alabama Southern Eagles 5-2 in the final game of the regular season.
JDCC held a one-game lead over Alabama Southern when the two teams began a winner-take-all four-game set Thursday for the division championship. The Warhawks won the first game of that day's twinbill 12-6, but Alabama Southern stayed alive for the division title with an 11-3 win in the nightcap.
Then the Eagles won Saturday's first game 6-4 and pulled into a first place tie with JDCC headed into the final clash.
JDCC (21-9 in the ACCC and 41-14 overall) spent most of the first game trying to figure out how to solve Eagles righthander Cory Meacham.
Meacham had a no-hitter and a 6-0 lead headed into the top of the sixth inning when the Warhawks finally solved him.
With one out, Rusty Harris walked and Brian Hannah broke up the no-no with a single. Micah Leopard then muscled up and parked a Meacham pitch over the leftfield wall for a three-run homer that cut the lead in half.
The rally did not end there, as Chris Good was hit by a pitch and Kyle McPherson and Logan Hundley both had singles that produced another run and cut the Alabama Southern lead to just 6-4.
While the Eagles (20-10 in the ACCC and 34-22 overall) were able to extinguish the JDCC rally at that point and closed out the win one inning later, Morrill felt the Warhawks had gotten a big boost for game two.
There was little arguing Morrill's viewpoint after the Warhawks broke through against Alabama Southern hurler Nathan Bounds for four runs in the top of the first inning.
While Brian Hannah led off with a single and Brett Burkett was hit by a pitch with one out, all four runs scored with two out. First, McPherson came through with a two-run double. Then up stepped Hundley, who blasted a pitch over the left-centerfield wall for a two-run homer that doubled the lead to 4-0.
The ironic thing about Hundley's homer is he probably would not have been in the lineup had it not been for a first game injury to Charlie Sutton.
Alabama Southern was able to get one of those runs back in the bottom of the third through a leadoff double by Shawn Wozniak and a two-out RBI single by Matthew Keel. From an overall standpoint, the Eagles missed several opportunities to get closer against JDCC starting hurler Robert Brown.
Matthew Keel was cut down in a rundown on a fielder's choice after a one-out double in the first inning. Ricky LaFrance singled and was thrown out on a steal attempt in the second inning. Then in the fifth Shane Moye doubled with one out only to overrun the bag and get tagged out in a rundown.
After the quick start, JDCC's offense hit some snags. The Warhawks were able to pick up an insurance run in the top of the fifth when a double by Burkett and a walk to Chris Good set up an RBI single by McPherson down the rightfield line that made it 5-1.
Morrill pulled Brown after he struck Tyler Dawson with a pitch to lead off the sixth. Morrill opted for Nick Porter, who posted a pair of strikeouts but also issued a pair of singles and a run-scoring wild pitch that made it 5-2.
That prompted Morrill to make another switch. This time game one starting pitcher Jason Moore came in and set down the final four Eagles to close out the win and the division championship.
The Warhawks will now gear up for the ACCC state tournament, which gets underway this weekend in Dothan. Pairings are expected to be released today.
JDCC 000 004 0 – 4 5 1
Alabama So. 102 030 X – 6 10 0
JDCC 400 010 0 – 5 7 0
Alabama So. 001 001 0 – 2 9 2