By Bobby Mathews, Sports Editor
CLAY — It’s almost fitting that two of the biggest area rivals split their final two games of the season on Thursday, April 14. Clay-Chalkville won the first game on its senior night against Pinson Valley, a 9-3 win where the Cougars looked as good as they’ve been all season. But the Indians roared back in the second game to win 16-9.
Both teams had already been eliminated from playoff contention, so these games were about pride and rivalry, and both teams answered the bell.
Game 1: Clay Chalkville 9, Pinson Valley 3
By the time Javen Hunter hit a two-run shot in the fourth, the Cougars already had the lead. Hunter’s homer put the Clay-Chalkville lead out of reach, though, as he and Kenny Glover split time on the mound to hold Pinson to just three runs over seven innings.
Hunter allowed four hits and two runs — only one earned — and struck out two and walked two over the course of four innings. Glover went three innings, allowing two hits and one run, striking out six and walking two. Glover also homered, a one-run shot in the sixth inning.
“It was a fastball, so I just needed to stay back,” Hunter said of his home run. “I was trying to stay back and hit it hard.”
It was a fitting night for two of the best Cougars players to have a strong showing, as Clay-Chalkville celebrated senior night between the two games.
DeVante’ Wells went 3-for-4 at the plate for Pinson Valley, while Jamison Green took the loss for the Indians, going four innings and allowing seven hits and five runs.
“You always want to get a win for your seniors on senior night,” Clay-Chalkville head coach Landon Robinson said. “You always want your last game to be a win. I hate that its ending a week early — we’d rather be in the playoffs, but it is what it is. It’s always good also to beat your rival, get a big win over your rival.”
It was an especially big night for Glover, a senior, who signed to play with Alabama A&M. He’ll join longtime friend Hunter on the Bulldogs’ roster, extending a playing partnership that has spanned nearly the entirety of their playing careers.
“We’ve definitely been planning it together for a long time,” Hunter said. “It was a good fit for both of us. He liked the coaches like I did, and it just felt good.”
Glover said it was also important to him to attend a HBCU.
“I liked the culture, and I like the fact that I get to go to a school that has my color, a HBCU that has my culture,” Glover said. “And I get to play with my brother. We’re pretty good with each other. I feel like it’ll be a good fit for both of us. We’ve been playing together for 14 years so far. We’ve been playing together since we were little kids, so might as well just keep it going.”
Game 2: Pinson Valley 16, Clay-Chalkville 9
Kenny Glover liked the first pitch he saw, taking that one for a ride on a three-run shot that gave Clay-Chalkville the initial lead during the second game of Thursday’s doubleheader, but Pinson Valley fought back to rally for a 16-9 lead and defeat their closest rivals.
Taborie Reed went 3 2/3 of an inning, giving up nine runs on eight hits, striking out three and walking eight.
Chris Calma went 1-for-4 with an RBI, two walks and scored twice, while DeVante’ Wlls went 1-for-4 with an RBI, two walks and scored once. Isaiah Sims scored three times, while Taborie Reed scored twice and had an RBI.
Michael Moses went 1-for-2 with 4 RBI, two walks and scored twice. Caden Hamby went 2-for-3 with 3 RBI, a walk and scored once.