By Jake Winfrey
The Cullman Times
Luke Bailey is well known for his ability to throw a tight spiral with the football — so much so the senior announced he’ll be taking that talent to Huntingdon College next fall.
However, if the Fairview ace continues to dominate on the pitching mound, one can only wonder when the calls from prospective baseball coaches will start pouring in, too.
Bailey threw a five-inning complete game, allowing one hit and striking out four, and the Aggie offense came to life in a 12-0 home victory over Holly Pond in Game 1 of a doubleheader on Thursday afternoon.
“That’s only Luke’s second real start since coming back from basketball,” coach Curt Alexander said. “He threw two innings early in the season and pitched in our area series against Locust Fork. But I couldn’t be any happier with how he’s come on so far this season.”
After scoreless first innings from both teams, Fairview got it going in the second.
Lane Denny (hit by pitch), Devan Parker (error) and Jake Chandler (single) loaded the bases for the Aggies with one out.
Enter Mason Smith.
The first baseman launched a grand slam deep into the trees beyond the left-field fence off Holly Pond’s Carter Hays to give his team an early 4-0 advantage.
Bailey and Trent Shoemaker followed with singles later in the frame and later came around to score on a couple of Bronco wild pitches to extend Fairview’s lead to six.
“We’ve been hitting like this pretty much every game we’ve played,” Alexander said. “Offensively, I can’t really complain. Now that our pitching has come around, I think we can be pretty decent.”
Bailey encountered some trouble in the third inning when the Broncos put runners on second and third with two outs but got out of the jam with a critical strikeout of Hays.
The Aggies poured it on in the fourth inning, riding RBI hits from Denny (two-run triple), Dakota Harris (two-run single) and Cody Edge (two-run single) to mercy the Broncos.
Shoemaker reached base three times and notched two steals, while teammate Chandler added a late double to round out the hits for Fairview.
“We are peaking at the right time,” Alexander said of his squad. “Guys have found a way to get into the games, and I think we are going to be OK. It’s definitely one of the best teams I’ve had since I’ve been here.”
% Fairview 10, Holly Pond 6: The Aggies picked up their 14th win of the season with a win over the Broncos in Game 2 of Thursday’s doubleheader.
Smith spearheaded Fairview on offense with his second home run of the day. He finished the game with two hits and three RBI. Teammate Austin Earwood collected two hits and one RBI as well. Edge also had two hits for the Aggies.
Gregory, Shoemaker and Denny were each good for one hit.
Mitchell Naler connected for three hits for Holly Pond. He also drove in a pair of runs. Jacob Cahoon dished out a couple of hits of his own to go along with two RBIs.
‰ Jake Winfrey can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 258 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.