Glencoe travels to Piedmont for 3A showdown
Thu. April 25, 2013 at 11:02 p.m. | By J.J. Hicks Staff Writer
Dalton Reid and the Glencoe Yellow Jackets play at Piedmont today. (Photo by Dave Hyatt | Gadsden Times | File)
Glencoe looks to have an edge when it travels to Piedmont today for its Class 3A second-round high school baseball playoff series.
When the Yellow Jackets and Bulldgos open their best-of-three series at 5 p.m., the doubleheader won’t be the first time the teams have played this season.
However, Glencoe coach Charlie Robertson feels it will be almost like the first time for Piedmont.
“I think (playing Piedmont again) will be an advantage for us,” Robertson said. “When we played them, we didn’t throw who we’re going to start (in this series). I threw two ninth-graders against them. We’ve seen a couple of their guys. So they haven’t faced the guys who are gonna be out there for us.”
Pitching, Robertson said, will be “the key” in how successful Glencoe is against Piedmont
“We have to throw strikes and we have to hit our spots,” he said. “Good pitching stops good hitting anytime, that’s what we try to express to our kids. We have to make the routine plays and get good pitching.”
The Yellow Jackets (16-5) got plenty of both, along with some excellent hitting, in clinching a spot in the second round with an 8-0 win over White Plains in the third game of the first-round series Monday.
Dalton Roberts, who got the win in relief and drove home the game-winner in the Yellow Jackets’ earlier triumph over Piedmont, tossed a complete-game shutout and helped his own cause by getting on base three times.
Glencoe also got a big day from senior Daniel Otwell, who hit two home runs and drove in four runs in the clinching victory. Will Parker added a solo homer.
Such a dominant win often can create momentum for a team.
“I hope it does (carry over),” Robertson said. “You never can tell, though. Baseball is a crazy game.”
Piedmont is 23-8 after beating Cleveland in their best-of-three first-round series. After falling in the first game 13-4, Piedmont regrouped for a 26-3 victory in Game 2 before winning 7-3 Monday to advance.
Despite the Bulldogs’ gaudy offensive numbers against the Panthers, Robertson is more wary of Piedmont’s ace on the mound than its hitters.
Cade Bradley, who also plays shortstop, is arguably Piedmont’s top pitcher, and he is more than capable of getting the ball past opposing hitters.
“He throws real hard,” Robertson said.
Robertson compared Bradley, who will play for Calhoun Community College at the next level, to White Plains’ Zach Cunningham, another power pitcher with whom Glencoe is familiar. Cunningham gave up just three hits to the Yellow Jackets in a Game 2 win in the first round Saturday.
In a relief appearance in Monday’s tilt, though, Glencoe roughed up Cunningham.
While Bradley is the flamethrower, Robertson said his team will have to adjust its approach at the plate when anybody else is on the mound.
“They aren’t overpowering. They throw curveballs and changeups, and we’ll have to be patient when we face those guys,” Robertson said.
Bradley has a twin brother, Collin, who plays first base and has signed to play with Southern Union.