Burkett throws complete game shutout, helps lead Chiefs past Jay, Fla. for district championship

Published 10:25 pm Thursday, May 4, 2023

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Correction: In an earlier version of this article, an error was reported regarding Northview’s softball team. The Lady Chiefs didn’t end their season on May 4 after falling in the district championship game. With the runner-up finish, the Lady Chiefs will face Holmes County on May 11 in the regional semifinal.

Northview’s Cason Burkett threw a complete game shutout to help lead the Chiefs to a 2-0 victory over Jay, Fla. tonight to win the FHSAA Class 1A, District 1 championship.

Burkett was dealing throughout the game, and his team’s infield and outfield play backed him up during the contest.

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With the victory, NHS (18-7) advances to the regional semifinals next Wed., May 10, at home, where it will play Holmes County. Tonight’s game marks the Chiefs’ third-straight district title win.

“This is nothing that I do or any of the coaches do, the players know what they have and put each other on their back,” NHS baseball coach Jeremy Greenwell said. “It’s just a great group. This is the first group of seniors in school history that’s won back-to-back district championships, and now three in a row. The coaches try to put them in the right position to win games, but this is a special group.”

Burkett struck out nine and allowed seven hits in the victory.

Greenwell said his pitcher did a good job of keeping the hitters off balance.

“He has an opportunity to go up to Coastal (Alabama Community College) East in Brewton, and play some baseball after high school,” his coach said. “He just does a good job of keeping those batters off balance, throwing his curve ball, fast ball and his change up throughout the game.”

Behind Burkett, the Chiefs’ defense had itself a game, too.

Greenwell said it seemed like every time the defense found itself in a jam, it rolled a double play.

Wyatt Scruggs initiated a double play from center field, and Jamarkus Jefferson helped turn another from second base in the fifth inning.

Northview’s only runs came during the first and fifth innings.

Kaden Odom scored on an error in the first, and later scored on a bases-loaded walk in the fifth.

Rustin Pope went 2-for-2 with a walk to lead the Chiefs. Josh Landis went 1-for-1 with an RBI; Ethan Collier went 1-for-3; and Kaden Odom went 1-for-1.

Earlier this week, Greenwell earned his 100th win as a coach after the Chiefs’ 9-0 win over Central, Fla. on Tuesday.

The coach said getting the accomplishment was great.

“There’s nothing I do special if you hang around a school long enough,” Greenwell quipped. “I guess I did a good job of not getting run off by the parents and community.”

Greenwell added that his assistant coaches put the players in the best position possible to win.

First pitch next Wednesday is at 7 p.m.

In girls action, the Lady Chiefs lost 13-3 in five innings to Jay in the district title game.

Jay scored six runs in the first, four runs in the second and three runs in the fourth.

NHS scored three runs in the fourth.

The Lady Chiefs will play Holmes County on May 11 in the regional semifinals. First pitch is at 7 p.m.