By Kyle Parmley
IRONDALE – The Class 6A, Area 12 playoff race is on, and getting more interesting by the day.
Clay-Chalkville, Pinson Valley, Shades Valley and Huffman comprise the area, with the first three teams named battling for only a pair of postseason spots.
Shades Valley took a step toward one of those spots, knocking off Clay-Chalkville 3-1 on Tuesday night.
The Cougars got on the board in the first inning, as Jeremy Rhodes doubled in Thomas Johns. Rhodes and Johns each finished the game with a pair of hits. Clay-Chalkville would total eight hits in the game, but were unable to score again.
The Mounties scored all three of their runs in the bottom of the third inning. A one-out walk led to back-to-back doubles from Rashad Louie and Anthony Conwell, who later scored on a wild pitch.
Blake Petty got the start on the hill for the Cougars, throwing five innings and only surrendering three hits while striking out six batters. Christian Crawford pitched the sixth inning, setting the Mounties down without a hit.
Clay-Chalkville will need to win both games against Shades Valley on Wednesday in order to maintain control of its playoff destiny.
Pinson Valley was forced to play at Rickwood Field on Tuesday, as Huffman’s field was deemed unplayable. The venue had no effect on the Indians, as they rolled to an 11-0 victory in five innings to move closer to their second series victory in area play.
The Davidson twins, Hunter and Destin, led Pinson Valley in the onslaught. Hunter pitched all five innings, only giving up a first-inning hit, two walks, and striking out 10 batters. Two-thirds of the outs he recorded were via the punchout. Destin went 2-for-2 and drove in three runs.
Raul Tafoya got a hit in all three of his at-bats, picking up a double and an RBI. Baker Hodge chipped in a pair of doubles, driving in a run as well.
Pinson Valley returns home to host Huffman in the final game of the series Thursday. A third game will be played if necessary.