Piedmont 11-0, Lauderdale County 0-9
PIEDMONT — No matter the sport, Taylor Hayes has come up big in the clutch situations for the Piedmont Bulldogs.
The senior did so again last Wednesday against Lauderdale County in the Class 3A state baseball quarterfinals.
He helped Piedmont earn a split of their doubleheader.
The Bulldogs earned an 11-0 victory in game one, with No. 10 Lauderdale County claiming game two 9-0.
In game one, the Bulldogs pounded the Tigers behind the arm of Hayes, who went 3 1/ 3 innings with eight strikeouts.
Hayes also helped the Bulldogs at the plate. He led off the bottom of the first inning with a solo shot to right field.
He would finish the first game with 3-for-4 with a walk and four RBIs.
Sparked by Hayes’s homer, the Bulldogs batted through their order in the first inning and scored six runs and chasing Tiger starting pitcher Parker Garner.
Five more runs came across for the Bulldogs in the bottom of the third, including a three- run blast by Mason Mohon.
Mohon finished the game going 2-for-2 with a walk and four RBIs.
With the lead, Piedmont opted to preserve Hayes and allow him to start game two with a relatively low pitch count.
Taylor Morrow came on in relief for the Bulldogs, earning the final five outs and securing the victory.
Because of his low pitch count, the Bulldogs gave Hayes the start in game two, and he continued to dominate.
Game two started as a pitchers’ duel, with Hayes and Tiger starting pitcher Sloan Wilson going pitch-for-pitch.
Hayes was untouchable from the mound, striking out twelve in his five innings of work to bring his strikeout total to 20 on the day.
“I was really feeling it today,” said Hayes. “I had my fastball and slider both working, and Easton (Kirk) called some great games behind the plate today.”
“We hit the ball really well in the first game and the defense had my back.”
“Hayes had his stuff working today,” Bulldog head coach Matt Deerman said. “He didn’t have a great start his last outing, so I knew he’d go out there and give it all he’s got today, and he did.”
Morrow came on in relief for Hayes, but the Tigers had his number in his second appearance.
They scored 11 runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Wilson slammed the door on the Bulldogs in the top of the seventh to earn the win and take the series to game three.