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THS coach Adam Clayton with Elmore County's Michael Byrd last year

Returning to the diamond on Valentine's Day

By Michael Butler

Love is in the air - or is it baseball? The baseball season begins on Friday, Feb. 14. Yes - Valentine's Day.

Tallassee will bookend its season with the opening and closing games of the regular season vs. Elmore County. The first game is scheduled to be played in Eclectic this week.

"Normally the season starts on Presidents' Day, but the state moved it up one week earlier," THS head coach Adam Clayton said. "We could actually start on Thursday, but we chose Friday. We chose Elmore County to open up with a rival and end with a rival."

Tallassee went 10-16 last year missing the playoffs for the first time since 2014.

"I know last year we went through some ups and downs," Clayton said. "We've got 11 seniors, six juniors and three sophomores. This will be the biggest senior class in my tenure. It's a pretty experienced group. A lot of those guys have a lot of at-bats under their belts at the varsity level. I've been real impressed with our practices so far. They've been focused and bought in."

A couple of newcomers will join the team this season after basketball ends.

"Truck Griffin and Tae Collins are back out," Clayton noted. "Five are still playing basketball."

On the mound, Clayton could use as many as 12 pitchers this season.

"The most experienced were tenth graders last year; Jacob Dantro and Jacob Ingram."

That is Jacob Abbott Ingram. There is also Jacob Charles Ingram on the squad.

"We go by Abbott and Charles," said Clayton. "Most people know that last year Charles was coming off of a car where he broke his neck. I told him the other day after practice that it's just tremendous the work he's put in to get back where he was before the wreck. He's looking very good."

Not to confuse Tiger fans, but there is another Jacob on the roster; Jacob Manning. You can call him "Jake." There is Matthew Baker, also known as "Bobby."

"We call him "Bobby." He will be at the top of order with a left-handed stick and speed."

Bruin Hathcock
Reece Graham
Will Blocker

Will Blocker and Bruin Hathcock were the team's top hitters last season and return for their senior seasons. Reese Graham, a senior, is a seasoned veteran behind the plate.

"Will and Bruin will both be in the lineup somewhere. Bailey Keller will be one of our middle infielders. He's one of the best defensive guys we have."

Two other players are returning from injuries last season and are among the nucleus of seniors.

"Matt Justiss is back at first base. We lost him last year with the shoulder injury from football. Zak Haynes missed all of last year. As soon as he's done with the wrestling state championship, he'll be back with us."

Tallassee will play in the FCA Tournament in Montgomery for the first time this season.

"Kids will get to play at Riverwalk Stadium. That'll be a plus for us."

The Tigers have never played a game at the home of the Montgomery Biscuits, so Clayton is naturally excited but hopes the regular season is not the only trip there for 2020. Patterson Field and Riverwalk Stadium are the host sites for the state championships.

"We play at Patterson all the time, not Riverwalk. Hopefully at the end of the year, we'll be playing there again. That would be nice."

Varsity Schedule
JV Schedule
SMS Schedule

Tallassee's state championship rings: 1986, '87, '89, '90, '91, '95, '98
Submitted by Brent Milner