CLARKSVILLE – Brett Farris worked briskly and effectively on Tuesday in the 5A-West opener for Alma.
Farris was perfect into the fifth inning and capped his performance on the mound with a grand slam in Alma’s 21-0 win.
Farris was overpowering, allowing only a double to pinch-hitter Brandon Lovell with two outs in the fifth inning.
"It keeps everybody on their toes," Edwards said of how quickly Farris worked. "When we’re working ahead and not having walks, the defense stays on its toes and stays ready. It was a good deal defensively."
Farris, a senior, retired the first 14 batters he faced and pitched to just one more than the minimum of 21 batters. He struck out nine and walked none.
"That’s what I’ve been expecting to get us to and to get him to," Edwards said. "That’s what he’s capable of. He hasn’t thrown like that for a whole game. He’s had innings where he’s thrown like that. He kept the ball down in the zone and stayed ahead in the count. That’s what we’ve been preaching all year, and he did it."
Clarksville’s Enrique Magdelano almost matched Farris for five innings. Alma managed just one run off Magdelano until the sixth inning.
"He kept us off stride," Edwards said. "It was real frustrating for us, offensively. We have a certain two-strike approach that we preach and preach and preach. He got ahead of us and we were fouling pitches off and we wouldn’t do that two-strike approach. He kept us out on our front foot and we weren’t staying back. We finally started doing some things and started picking it up and swinging it like we’re capable of."
Josh Parker coaxed a two-out walk in the third inning then scored on Adam Wilbanks’ ringing double for a 1-0 lead. It was one of Alma’s only two hits through five innings.
Alma cracked the game open with five runs in the sixth inning on five hits with the help of two errors. Judah Dean, Alex Burris and Will Montgomery knocked in runs in the inning and Alma added a pair of unearned runs for a 6-0 lead.
Alma added 15 runs in the seventh inning with 13 hits and sent 20 batters to the plate.
Alma 14, Clarksville 0 (Game 2, 6 inn.)
Senior Will Montgomery was equally stubborn on the mound for the Airedales in the nightcap, allowing just two hits and tossing a complete-game six-inning shutout shortened by the mercy rule.
Montgomery gave up a sharp single to Juan Hernandez in the second inning and an infield single to Baylee Dougan in the sixth inning. Montgomery struck out eight.
Wilbanks put Alma (3-3, 2-0) up early, singling to open the game, stealing second, taking third on a deep fly ball and scoring on a wild pitch. Alma scored three times in the fifth inning and batted around in the sixth, aided by an RBI single by Burris, a two-run single by Brown, and a two-run stand-up triple from Montgomery.
Clarksville (1-6, 0-2) has struggled without ace and two-time all-state pitcher Jace Hudson, who was unavailable to pitch with shoulder problems. He will undergo an MRI next week and hopefully be ready to pitch the final month of the season. Hudson, with 17 career wins, is close to the school’s all-time record as well as the strikeout record.
"I think we had two players on the field that aren’t in the ninth or 10th grade," 23-year Clarksville head coach Jake Hudson said. "It’s pretty tough. We’re going through some growing pains. We get overmatched sometimes with young kids on the field. It’s a big difference with 14-year-old kids going against 18-year-olds."