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GHS baseball team sets school wins record

With the school record for wins in a season on its resume, the Guntersville baseball team can turn its full attention to atoning for last season’s early playoff exit. Jacksonville, which eliminated the Wildcats in the first round last year, will again be the foe when a Class 4A best-of-3 series begins Friday at Guntersville. Games will be at 4:30 and 7:00. If necessary, a 3rd game will be played Saturday at 11:00. “We’re going in with the right mind-set,’’ Wildcats senior Reed Chandler said. “We’re peaking at the right time.’’ The Wildcats are 28-9. They won 3 games Saturday and the last one, 8-4 over Cleburne County, gave them the school record for most victories in a single season. “That was something they wanted,’’ Guntersville coach Kenny Chaffin said.

Ross Chandler pitched a complete game against Cleburne County and his brother Reed drove home the go-ahead run in the 7th inning. “We hit it good Saturday,’’ Reed said. “That was a big win. It was a playoff atmosphere.’’ Senior A.J. Wilder, who along with Reed is one of 10 different pitchers who have won games this season, said the team had already turned the page when the week began. “Our goal now is to play well into the playoffs,’’ A.J. said. Guntersville was state champion when this year’s seniors were sophomores in 2012. “We’re excited and looking forward to playing,’’ A.J. said. “We’ve got to stay focused, work hard and not expect anything to be given to us.’’

The Golden Eagles finished 2nd to No. 6 Alexandria in Area 11, though the 2 teams split a pair of 2-0 games in the regular season. “They’ll be ready to compete and will come here fired up,’’ A.J. said. The first 3 pitching options for Coach Chaffin are Clayton Daniel, A.J. and Reed, but the Wildcats staff runs deep. Meanwhile, the Golden Eagles’ pitching staff is led by seniors Sid Thurman and Chris Elias. Thurman also bats lead-off. “He can fly,’’ Coach Chaffin said. “They have tremendous speed at the top of the lineup and some power in the middle. Their coach is David Deerman and he’s been there a long time. “You have to beat them because they’re not going to beat themselves. They’re very similar to Alexandria. It should be a good series.’’ The winner plays either Alexandria or Sardis in the second round.




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