Morrison no-no, Yelverton slam help Demopolis sweep Wilcox

Demopolis (10-5, 4-0) clinched the Class 5A, Area 6 championship and the right to host a first round playoff series when it swept a double-header from Wilcox Central Wednesday.

The Tigers took the first game of the series 10-0 in five innings as Jacob Rodrigues struck out 10 batters and walked two in a complete game win. Rodrigues surrendered only one hit, fourth inning dribbler that died in the grass along the third base line just a few feet from home plate.

Ryan Morrison, a sophomore, followed Rodrigues’ near no-hitter by holding Wilcox hitless in the nightcap. Morrison fanned eight Jaguars, walked none and plunked two in the contest.

“Outstanding. Getting ahead in the count. Located the ball. Moved the ball around. Breaking balls were good. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing, if you do that you have a chance,” Demopolis coach James Moody said.

The offense in the opener came primarily in the third inning when the Tigers hung six runs on the board. Ryan Schroeder was 3-for-3 in the game with three runs scored. Jamarcus Ezell drove in a run and scored a run.

“The first game we started slow, lifting the ball, hitting the ball in the air,” Moody said. “We made adjustments when we needed to, took advantage of some mistakes they made and did what we needed to do to win the ball game.”

R.J. Cox drove in a run. Jordan Grace scored a run.

Rodrigues went 1-for-2 with a walk. Clay White scored two runs. Wil Stephens drove in a run and scored once.

Jay Craig finished 3-for-3 with a run and one RBI. Tripp Perry was 1-for-2 with one RBI. Seth Aiken went 1-for-2 with one RBI, two stolen bases and a run scored.

The second game saw the Tigers score nine runs in the first inning en route to an 11-0 win. Demopolis sent 11 batters to the plate in the first frame before Wilcox was able to record an out.

The big blow in the frame came off the bat of Luke Yelverton, who snapped an offensive drought with a grand slam to center that plated Craig, Aiken and Hunter Colyar.

“I’m proud for Luke. He does work hard and takes pride in what he does,” Moody said. “Hopefully that’ll motivate him a little more to keep working hard. That was a big hit for us.”

The hit was the first grand slam hit by a Tiger in Demopolis since 2008 when Palmer O’Neal accomplished the feat.

Schroeder went 1-for-2 with a run scored. Chandler Barton walked twice and scored a run. Ezell went 2-for-2 with a stolen base and a run scored. Grace drew a walk. Rodrigues doubled, drove in two runs and scored. Nick Nelson scored a run.

Stephens walked an scored. Craig walked, drove in a run and scored. White notched one RBI.

Colyar drew a walk. Aiken singled, walked, scored a run and drove in two. Yelverton finished 1-for-2 with a grand slam, a walk, a run scored and four RBIs.

Demopolis is set to travel to Thomasville Friday night.

“We’ve still got a long way to go in a lot of areas and we play some really good ball clubs the rest of the way. It’ll be a good measuring stick for us to go to Alex City next week and Thomasville Friday,” Moody said. “There’s still some really good teams on our schedule, so hopefully that’ll help us build and be able to work on some things we need to try to perform well in the first round.”