Opelika High School’s spring sports are fully into the meat of their schedules. Last week, the baseball, softball, soccer and tennis teams were all in action.
Opelika’s varsity baseball team (7-6) finished with one win and two losses in the East Alabama Classic last weekend.
The Bulldogs first played Tuscaloosa County, coached by Nick Richardson. Ultimately, OHS was thumped, 13-2, on Friday night. Tuscaloosa County scored six runs in five innings while its starting pitcher went five innings, allowing two runs on five hits, striking out eight and walking zero.
Christopher Floyd started on the mound for Opelika, going three-and-two-thirds innings, allowing five hits and seven runs while striking out two. Colby Rathel and Sam Kemp entered the game from the bullpen, throwing one inning and one-third of an inning, respectively.
Offensively, Jake Smith had a homer in the fourth inning; Brodie Jones led the way with two hits in two at-bats. “Tommy” Taylor Fields and Jackson Killcreas added hits for the Bulldogs.
Next up in the Classic, Hewitt-Trussville slipped by OHS, 6-5, despite being outhit five to seven by the Dogs. The bulldogs used Davis Ford, Russell Copous and Killcreas on the mound. The three pitchers surrendered five runs on eight hits over six innings, striking out six.
Ford took the loss, pitching four-and-two-thirds innings, allowing six runs on six hits and striking out five.
Opelika belted nine hits, courtesy of Smith, Ford and Fields’ two hits apiece, while Floyd and Killcreas added hits.
In the next game for the Bulldogs, Opelika and Baker were tied at eight in the bottom of the seventh inning. Smith hit a walk-off, two-run homer as Opelika beat Baker, 10-8, in the final game of the East Alabama Classic.
Smith went three-for-four at the plate, drove in five runs on a home run in the first inning, had a single in the sixth inning and a home run in the seventh.
The varsity Bulldogs notched six runs in the sixth inning. Smith, Bryce Speakman and Killcreas all moved runners across the plate with RBIs in the inning.
Copous led Opelika to victory on the pitcher’s mound. The righty surrendered one run on five hits over four innings, striking out three and walking zero. Killcreas allowed six hits and seven runs over three innings, walking one as the starting pitcher.
OHS tallied three home runs. Speakman went long in the sixth inning. Smith went yard in the first and seventh innings.
The Bulldogs racked up 11 hits in the game. Smith, Floyd, Ford and Fields contributed hits.
The Bulldogs will host Marbury at 11 a.m. and Ariton at 4 p.m. on Saturday at Bulldog Park.
The OHS Lady Bulldog softball team won three games and lost three games last week, improving their record to 9-8.
Opelika opened the busy week with a 1-7 loss to Beauregard. The Lady Hornets never trailed after scoring two runs in the first inning. Bailey Abernathy led the Lady Hornets on offense with three hits, followed by two hits apiece from Lucy Vann, Kiley Brooks and Taylor Howard. Memoree Lyles led Opelika with two hits; KD Lee and McKay Yountz added singles. Brooks earned the win, pitching a complete game and allowing one run.
The Lady Bobcats then shut out OHS 5-0 last Saturday. Beulah’s two pitchers, Brandy Phillips and Abrianna Green, allowed one hit and struck out nine OHS batters.
Opelika then earned its first win of the weekend after beating Horseshoe Bend 5-0. KD Harrelson earned the win in the circle, pitching five innings without allowing a hit or a run. Nylen Thomas and Jade Jones led on offense with two hits apiece.
The Lady Dogs thumped Russell County High School, 15-0, in a three-inning mercy rule game last Saturday. Rylee Long led OHS with three hits and four RBI, followed by two hits from Lee and Yountz. Thomas, Jamiah Williams and Kennedy Soltau added hits.
Sanai Stringer earned the win, pitching three innings and allowing one hit.
Opelika scored five runs in the sixth and seventh inning to beat Pike Road, 5-3. Yountz earned the win by pitching seven innings, allowing three earned runs on four hits.
The Valley Rams defeated OHS, 4-3, last Saturday in Fairfax. The Lady Rams scored two runs in the last inning to win by one run. Opelika managed singles from Yountz and Williams.
Harrelson and Yountz combined to pitch for OHS, allowing six hits and four earned runs.
Opelika’s girls’ and boys’ tennis teams swept Northside and Benjamin Russell last week. The Lady Bulldog netters beat Northside, 9-0, behind single wins from Mamie Nicholson (8-0), Joanne Smith T (8-0), Mary Cara Montel (8-0), Addison Kemp (8-0), Emma Brown (8-4) and Avery Massey (8-2). Doubles winners included Montel/Kemp, Brown/Addison Bryan and Massey/Smith T.
The varsity boys slipped by Northside, 5-4, behind the following winners: Conner Mullins (9-7), Anderson Melnick (8-1), Myles Tatum (8-5) and a doubles win from Mullins/Devam Patel.
Opelika’s varsity soccer team defeated Russell County High School (RCHS), 6-4, improving to 6-4 overall. Babi Ramirez scored the first goal; Malee Story scored a hat trick (three goals) and Amiya Brown added two goals for OHS. Ashley Hilyer and Kam McDaniels recorded two assists apiece.
The varsity boys soccer team improved to 8-1 after blanking RCHS, 8-0. OHS’s goals were scored by Dexter Graham (two), Luke Roberts (two), Moe Forbes (two), Nathan Faison and Eduardo Moran.
Assists included Faison (three), Graham, Forbes, Kenneth Frazier and Jake Campbell. Three keepers — Moran, Patel and Charlie McCullough — combined for the shutout.
OPELIKA DIXIE BOYS BASEBALL REGISTRATION AGES 13-14-15
Registration for the Opelika Dixie Boys Baseball league begins March 17 at the Opelika Sportsplex or online at opelikasportsplex.com. The baseball league is for anyone ages 13, 14 or 15 interested in playing baseball. Registration costs $45 in the city of Opelika and $50 if you live outside the city of Opelika. The fee covers a jersey and cap. All players will be on a team. For more info, contact D. Mark Mitchell at email@example.com.
I expect the AHSAA will announce soon that Opelika will play Thompson in the Kickoff Classic in Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl. Details are not official at the time of press. Beauregard is expected to play Selma Thursday night prior to OHS against Thompson.
D. Mark Mitchell is the sports director at iHeartMedia, host of “On the Mark” Fox Sports the Game 910-1319, co-chair of the Auburn-Opelika Sports Council, chairman of the Super 7 and Dixie Boys Baseball state director.