By D. Mark Mitchell
The Opelika High School baseball team extended their winning streak to nine in a row after winning four games last week, improving to 18-9 overall and 2-0 in area play. The Bulldogs started the week with a 5-0 road win over Wetumpka Tuesday. Jackson Reynolds continues to dominate opponents on the mound. The Texas A&M commit pitched seven innings, allowing one hit and striking out nine Indian batters to earn the win. Micah Christian and Jackson Craft led the offense with two hits apiece. T.J. Jones, Jacob Bartlett, Takeal Demunn and Kory McCoy each added singles.
The Bulldogs and Indians played a doubleheader the following day in Opelika. Opelika swept the two games, winning 6-2 and 10-6. Andrew Parr pitched a complete game to earn the win. Parr allowed eight hits and two earned runs over seven innings. Offensively, Christian belted three hits and scored a run, Jackson scored two runs on two hits and Jared Willis and Jones both added singles.
In the third game against Wetumpka, a 10-6 Opelika victory, Jones and Bartlett led the Bulldogs offense with two hits each. Willis, Christian, Dunson and Brody Davis all added hits. Christian pitched the first four innings and Hoony Oh pitched the final three innings to combine for the win.
Coach Richardson’s team ended the week by beating Sylacauga 11-4 Saturday at Bulldog Park. Jones slugged four hits to lead the Bulldogs at the plate. Demunn added two hits, Willis, Bratlett and McCoy both added singles. Three pitchers combined for the win: Jace Rhodes, Oh and Demunn.
Opelika hosted Benjamin Russell in an area game last night. The results were not available at press time. The Bulldogs travel to Alexander City Thursday for a double-header against Benjamin Russell at the Charles Bailey Sportsplex, which is located at 225 Heard Blvd. Opelika can win the area Championship by winning two of the three games.
The Opelika girls tennis team beat Montgomery Catholic School 5-4 last week. The Lady Bulldog netters won four singles matches and one doubles match. Singles winners included: Martlynn Grouby, who won 10-5, Mary Bentley Barfield 10-7, Blake Bell 10-0 and Laney McTier 10-4. The doubles team of Sara Hollis Smith T and Barfield won 10-8.
Montgomery Academy beat Opelika 8-1 last week. Number three seed Austen Crowley won the lone match for the Bulldogs 10-6.
Alabama Christian Academy beat the Lady Bulldogs soccer team 5-2 last week. Amiya Brown scored both goals for Opelika, with assists coming from teammates Kaitlyn Goodman and Abby Noon. The girls are currently 4-4-1 overall.
ACA beat the Opelika boys soccer team 2-0 last week. The Bulldogs are currently 6-5-2 overall and 2-1 in area play.
SOCCER FOR CURE – AUBURN AT
The annual Opelika v. Auburn “Soccer for a Cure” game will be held at the W. James Samford Soccer Complex at the Opelika Sportsplex April 5. Girls and boys junior varsity teams start at 5 p.m., with varsity games following at 7 p.m.
The Auburn High soccer team started “Soccer for a Cure” to raise money to help local cancer patients with expenses. The series began with Auburn v. Prattville. Auburn High later approached Opelika about playing the series on an annual basis.
Opelika boys coach Derek Hovell and girls coach Jaqulin Waites know the importance of hosting the game for the first time. Instead of admission, fans can donate as much as they wish to contribute to the cause. The money stays in Lee County and will help local people with cancer cover medical expenses.
I applaud Auburn City Schools System and Opelika City Schools System for teaming to raise money for local citizens with cancer. This is another example of cross-town rivals battling on the field to help for a common cause off the field.
Please try to attend the games and donate to “Soccer for a Cure.”
Opelika High Coach Erik Speakman announced spring football practice will start May 7 instead of May 1 because of other spring sports schedules.
Opelika will practice for two weeks and travel to Troy to play a spring game against Niceville High School of Florida May 19. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m.
ON THE MARK
Listen weekdays from 7-9 a.m. to the “On the Mark” radio show on 1520 AM WTLM, online at wtlmam.com/onair or type On the Mark on the iHeart Radio app.
Jeff Sasser and I host the two-hour show to keep fans updated on local sports and Opelika athletics. There are a wide array of guests who appear on the show, ranging from area high school coaches to former college greats like Pat Dye and Gene Stallings.
D. Mark Mitchell is sports director for iHeart Media, Alabama Dixie Boys State Director and vice president of the A-O Sports Council. He can be followed on Twitter at VOICEOFTHEDAWGS.