By D. Mark Mitchell
The OHS varsity baseball team defeated BRHS and rival AHS, improving the overall record to 15-3 and 1-0 in the Area.
OHS versus AHS:
Opelika defeated the visiting Tigers 7-0 behind a strong pitching and offensive effort from senior Mathew Christian. Christian dominated the game, allowing three hits and no runs to earn the win. Offensively, he smacked two doubles, scored two runs and knocked in five runs.
Auburn High head Coach Matt Cimo summed up Christian’s performance: “Christian threw the ball well, hit the ball well and dominated the game.”
Coach Billy Jones was proud of Mathew and the rest of his team after the win: “Mathew had all three pitches going today. He was dominant, and I am proud of his effort.When we get a lead, our goal is to score at least one run per inning. We want to stay away from a one-swing game. We executed, and everything came together.”
Coach Cimo made no excuses and praised Opelika after the game, “They were more aggressive than we were tonight. Opelika beat us in every phase of the game tonight. Give them credit.”
Gage Young, Harrison Morris, Chris Manley, Tanner Blatt, Bryant Norrell and Blake Yountz each added hits for OHS.
The two teams were scheduled to play two games at Auburn the following day but rain forced the games to be postponed to a later date.
OHS versus Benjamin Russell
The Bulldogs opened Area play with a 5-1 win over Benjamin Russell at Bulldog Park this week. Gage Young pitched a complete game, allowing one run, four hits and striking out seven batters to earn the win.
Mathew Christian delivered two hits while teammates Blake Yountz, Chris Manley and Tanner Blatt each singled.
Anytime you win it’s good, but this was a huge win for Opelika due to the fact it was the first Area game for the Bulldogs.
The two teams were scheduled to play a doubleheader in Alex City last night. It was not certain at press time if the games were played due to rain.
Opelika will host Wetumpka Saturday at 2:30 p.m., host a doubleheader with Central Monday (3-23) at 4:30 p.m., travel to Seale to play Russell County Tuesday (3-24) in a Area game and host Russell County in a doubleheader Wednesday (3-25) at 4:30 p.m.
The Opelika girls and boys tennis teams picked up a pair of Section wins over Wetumpka and Valley this week, improving to 3-0 in the Section.
Both teams won by 9-0 scores.
Singles winners Sam Herring, Emma Grace Scullen, Cameron Walker, Emme Levins, Sara Hollis Smith T and Taylor Watson.
Doubles winners were Herring/Scullen, Levins/Walker and Watson/Smith T.
Singles winners were Kevin Lazenby, Winston Smith T, Andrew Bizilia, Scot Carpenter, Ross Herring and Conner Pruitt.
Doubles winners were Lazenby/Smith T, Bizilia/Carpenter and Herring/ Yash Desai.
OHS vs Valley
The girls beat Valley 8-1 while the boys won 9-0.
Singles winners were Emma Grace Scullen, Cameron Walker, Emme Levins, Sara Hollis Smith T and Taylor Watson.
Doubles winners were Herring/ Scullen and Levins/Walker.
Coach Adam Massey’s teams will take next week off for spring break.
Opelika’s girls and boys track teams participated in two meets last week. The teams traveled to Starr’s Mill High in Georgia and the Georgia Tech Invite Meet.
The boys won the Starr’s Mill meet behind several first place finishes.
Nate Huggins won the 100, 200 and 400 meter runs, Ben Bryant won the 1600 and 3200 meter runs, Zo Bridges won the long jump, Will Boler won the long jump and the triple jump and Franklin Vickerstaff won the discus.
The girls finished fifth at Starr’s Mill. Diondra Larkin won the 100 and 200 meter run, Tytiania Lockhart won the shot put and discus, Jasmine Preston won the discus, Kala Spinks won the 400 meter run and Shamika Smith won the 800 meter run.
Several track team members were invited to participate in the Georgia Tech Invite Meet in Atlanta.
Ben Bryant won the 1600 and 400 meter runs and the 4 x 800 relay team (Ben Bryant, Ben Garner, Kane Barrett and Hayden Washburn) finished first. The 4 x 400 meter relay team (Dontae Lewis, Kacey Spinks, Nate Huggins and Jalin Marshall) also finished first.
Both teams will travel to Birmingham to participate in the Homewood Invitational this weekend.
The Lady Bulldog softball team (10-6, area 0-1) team finished second in the Opelika Spring Fling at West Ridge Park. OHS went 3-1 overall, losing to tournament champion Beauregard 12-1 in the finals.
OHS will travel to Gulf Shores next week for spring break and to play in the Gulf Shores Invitational.
SPECIAL THANK YOU
Long-time Opelika booster, Tom Rickles, owner of Davis Machine Shop, donated a scorer’s table for the basketball program. Tom has been a corporate sponsor for many years and served on the All-Sports Booster Board several years ago.
The scorer’s table cost nearly $1500.
Thank you Davis Machine Shop and owner Tom Rickles for your generous donation!
DIXIE BOYS BASEBALL
The Opelika Dixie Boys Baseball League is currently holding registration for the 2015 season. The baseball league is open to 13 and 14 year-olds. Cost is $40 per person which includes a jersey and a cap. All players will be placed on a team. You can register at the Opelika Sportsplex, Monday -Friday, 8a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m.
Registration will continue through March 31. For more information, call D.Mark Mitchell at 334-319-0467
ON THE MARK RADIO SHOW
I invite you to listen to my sports radio show weekdays 7-9 a.m. on WTLM 1520AM. The show is centered around local high school sports, recreational sports, Auburn and Alabama sports and other topics of local interest.
The show can be heard online at http://www.iheartradio.com. Search for WTLM. You can download the iheart radio app on your smart phone, as well.
Jeff Sasser and I host the two-hour show along with guest hosts, Dan Washburn (M-W), Joe Wilson (Thursday) and Larry Gore (Tuesday).
High school coaches from Opelika, Auburn, Beauregard, Lee-Scott and other Lee County schools appear from time to time.
During football season, former Auburn head coach Pat Dye is on Thursdays at 7:05 a.m. During basketball season, former AU head coach Sonny Smith is on Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m.. The two-hour show is guest-driven but callers are always welcome.
D.Mark Mitchell is sports director for iHeart Media, Alabama Dixie Boys State director and vice president of the A-O Sports Council.