COLD SPRINGS —
When members of the Vinemont track and field team said they were going to give their all in honor of Steve Mayo, they meant it. The Eagles, paced by Kurtis Brawner and Tyler Boland, touted a number of personal bests and landed in second as a squad less than 48 hours after learning of the death of one their biggest supporters.
Brawner made Mayo, his throwing coach for the last five years, proud by besting the rest in the shot put (42’5.5”) and discus (131’.5”). The distance of the next-closest competitor was almost 23 feet short. Boland’s road to recovery continued with a win in the long jump (20’7”) and a second-place showing, only 4.5 inches back, in the triple jump.
Long-distance specialist Nathan Handley was second in the 800-meter run and third in the 1,600-meter run. Austin Mosley was runner-up in the jump, while Trey Guthery (high jump) and Bo Wright (javelin) were third. Taylor Evans, Nick Jarrett, Trey Waldrep and Kyle Weems were third in the 4x400-meter relay, as were Handley, Wayne Partian, Waldrep and Stevie Yeager.
Cold Springs recorded fourth on the heels of a victory from Christian Crandall, Jake Haynes, Austin Moore and Trey Tillman in the 4x100-meter relay (47.13).
Holly Pond’s Matt Cahoon climbed to first in the high jump (5’8”), West Point’s Kobe Smith darted to second in the 100-meter dash, St. Bernard’s Nate Giffin, Steven Mami, Will Sciaroni and Marco Tona were second in the 4x800-meter relay, and Good Hope’s Luke Calvert was third in the shot put.
The Cullman County Track and Field Championship is set for Thursday at Cold Springs.
Two former Cullman superstars found themselves right in the thick of the Iron Bowl of college baseball Friday night.
There was Auburn freshman Keegan Thompson on the mound in the eighth inning, called upon in relief a day ahead of his expected start. And there was Alabama junior Ben Moore at the plate, looking to capitalize on a leadoff double and tie the game.
Thompson ultimately won the battle — he induced a groundout — and the game, preserving a 2-1 victory to tally his first collegiate save. The state’s reigning Mr. Baseball closed out the final two innings in remarkable fashion, fanning five and yielding just one hit.
According to an Auburn press release, coach Sunny Golloway said he had been considering inserting starters in crunch-time situations for some time now.
“You get to a point in the season where ... drastic times call for drastic measures,” he said in the release. “It’s time right now to decide that we’ve got to win each game. I’m taking it one game at a time, treat every game like it’s the last game of the College World Series.
“If I end up starting a right fielder who hasn’t pitched all year, don’t call me crazy. Call me aggressive. Call me trying to win today.”
Despite the unexpected appearance, Thompson is still in the mix to start in Sunday’s series finale. He’s 5-1 with a 1.65 earned run average.
Chase Mallard, another Bearcat baseball product, didn’t earn the decision in UAB’s opener versus Southern Miss Friday but did notch his 11th quality start in a row, going back to last spring.
The fireballer was tagged for one earned run, six hits and no walks in 6 1/3 inning, his shortest outing of the season. Mallard struck out five and was in line for the victory before Southern Miss pulled off the comeback with two runs in the ninth inning.
UAB used a squeeze bunt to take a 2-0 advantage in the fifth.
“With Chase on the mound, we were trying to get one more run for our club and put us up two,” Blazer coach Brian Shoop said in a press release. “We hoped it would be enough. Tonight it wasn’t.”
Mallard is 6-0 with a 0.95 ERA in nine appearances.