by D. Mark Mitchell
The spring sports will be finishing their regular season next week. The teams are trying to win their remaining games to earn spots in the state playoffs or position themselves to win the Area tournaments to make it to the post-season.
Tuesday, four of our teams played rival Auburn High: baseball, softball and both tennis teams.
The OHS baseball team could not make the playoffs because their Area record was not good enough. But the Dawgs kept rival Auburn High out of the playoffs by defeating the Tigers at Sam Welborn Field on the AHS campus 6-3 on Tuesday night.
Opelika scored a run in the first inning to gain confidence on the road. The teams were tied, 3-3, heading to the seventh.
OHS started that inning with a hit by B.J. White. Garrett Brown, who had three hits including a home run, doubled to score White. Freshman Mathew Christian followed with an RBI single. Doss Arnold stepped to the plate and smacked a single to score Christian to give the Dawgs a 6-3 lead. Christian retired three straight batters in the bottom of the seventh to earn the win.
OHS head coach Scott Sullivan, coaching in his first Opelika-Auburn game, was visibly happy after the game.
“I am so proud of our kids. We played good baseball, which gave us a chance to win. We had some good swings and executed a good hit-and-run on that play in the seventh. The freshman (Mathew Christian) closed it out. I am proud of our team and coaching staff,” said Sullivan after the game.
Auburn head coach Matt Cimo, in his 20th season at AHS, summed up the game.
“We didn’t do the little things tonight, it’s baseball. Just take your hat off to Opelika. They beat us in our park. What else can you say?”
Opelika will host Auburn tonight at Bulldog Park in a double-header; first pitch is set for 4 p.m. This will be the last games for both teams. Opelika will hold a ceremony for their seniors before the first game.
You can hear the first game on the radio, I will broadcast the game with my partner, Jeff Sasser, on WTLM 1520 AM and on the web at www.kickerfm.com
The Opelika girls tennis team defeated AHS 9-0 to improve to 11-0 and win the sectional regular season title. Singles winners were, Meagan Wade, Meg Larson, Anna Lazenby, April Wade, Ashley Robertson and Kelcie Carpenter. Doubles winners were-Meagan Wade/Meg Larsen, Anna Lazenby/ April Wade and Ashley Robertson/ Kelcie Carpenter.
Several members of the OHS track team were invited to Mobile this past weekend for the Challenge of Champions meet. The invitational meet features the top track athletes of the United States.
Every event that Opelika athletes entered, no Opelika athlete finished less than 10th in any of their events.
Jakayla Hand finished third in the 200-meter dash, running a personal best 25.80 seconds; she also finished second in the long jump with a jump of 16-feet-10 inches and eighth in the triple jump with a jump of 35-feet-6 inches.
Annissa Lewis finished third in the 100-meter dash, running a season’s best 12.19 seconds, which put her on the U.S. first team elite.
Emma Garner finished first in the 1600-meter run with a personal best 5:19.10. Garner also finished second in the 3200-meter run with a time of 11:53.30
The boys 4×400 relay team finished third with a 3:29.79. Members are Thomas Hill, Brandon Taylor, Deandre Carlton and Jocari Luckey.
Tony Philpot finished fourth in the discus and tenth in the shot put.
Next week is spring break for the Opelika City School System. Very few athletes events are scheduled.
I want to extend my sincere sympathies to coach Kenny Prescott and his family after his brother Johnny Prescott passed away last weekend.
Kenny has been a member of the OHS football coaching staff since coach Spence McCracken was head coach.
I also was sorry to hear the death of former Opelikan Kurt Crain.
God bless both families.