Prep Baseball Report

Alabama HS Team Preview: Shelby County Wildcats

Austin Sharp
Alabama Scouting Director

The 2024 high school baseball season is quickly approaching and as usual, excitement abounds throughout the state. Players and coaches have been working in preparation for the upcoming season and, as is the case each year, there are some very talented players and teams across Alabama.

Teams across the state have goals and aspirations to finish their seasons in the Jacksonville/Oxford/Montgomery area at the AISA or AHSAA state championships, but there is plenty of work to be done before that becomes reality. We hope to familiarize our readers with many of the teams across the state as we preview individual teams across Alabama. We will take you right up to first pitch this season with these team previews and by continuing our scheduled podcasts and releasing our preseason top-10 rankings in each AHSAA classification.

Please keep checking back throughout the season as we will be your one-stop shop for everything related to high school baseball across the state.

Each week we will be releasing our Players of the Week, updating the top-10 ranks in each AHSAA classification, as well updating our Power 25 overall rankings. One thing, especially, you don’t want to miss are our scheduled podcasts with guests from across the state, as well as the recaps and previews of the big games we’re covering.

*Please note the information has been gathered from head coaches across the state, based on their replies to the questionnaire we distributed over this offseason.

High School: Shelby County
Head Coach: Cory Hamrick
Classification: AHSAA 5A
Area Number: 5A, Area 8
2023 Record (Finish): 19-16 (Eliminated in Sweet Sixteen)
No. of Returning Positional Starters: 2
No. of Returning Pitchers: 3
Team Strengths: Pitching Depth, Competitive Lineup



RHP/OF Micah Morris (7/11/23)


Class of 2024

C/RHP Sam Carter (8/27/23)


RHP/1B Cooper Pennington (5/21/23)


The Shelby County Wildcats are coming off three consecutive seasons where they've advanced past the 1st round of the Class 5A playoffs, as Coach Hamrick & co. seem to have this program rolling. This year shouldn't be any different, with a couple familiar faces coming back and a few impact newcomers on this year's roster. 

The Wildcats have consistently become one of the top programs in Class 5A over the past few seasons, as they've been ranked inside the top-10 of our polls for the majority of the last few seasons, including No. 1 for a while in 2022. After being around the .500 mark for the majority of the season in 2023, the Wildcats finished as the runner-up in their area and traveled on the road to Gulf Shores, who had also beeen inside the top-10 in Class 5A for almost the entirety of the season. Going into a hostile environment, the Wildcats were able to sweep that series by scores of 7-4, and 9-4 to advance to the Sweet 16. However, they would see their season come to a close in that round, losing by scores of 12-17, 14-0, and 4-9 to close their year with a 19-16 record. Shifting to this season, the Wildcats lost a good bit of production from seniors who graduated last spring, but there are some key returners and a few transfers that should make big impacts in 2024. RHP/OF Micah Morris (Northwest-Shoals CC, 2024) is a two-way player who should be the ace of their pitching staff, and is coming off a junior season where he delivered in some big games for the Wildcats. INF/RHP Colby Matherson (2025) returns for his third season at the varsity level and is slated to hit at the top of the lineup this spring. He's an excellent defender and should also throw some key innings on the mound, as well. C/RHP Sam Carter (Central Alabama CC, 2024), INF Gannon Pharr (2024), RHP/3B Nathan Owen (2024), and RHP/UTL Ben Gann (2024) are four newcomers to this program who all have the talent to make a sizable impact this spring. Carter, Owen, and Gann are all two-way prospects who will provide an immediate boost to both sides, while Pharr should take over one of the middle infield spots and drive in plenty of runs in the middle of the order. Taking a look at some of the top underclassmen, RHP/1B Cooper Pennington (2026), who is a top-30 prospect in the 2026 class in AL, is looking to have a breakout season both at the plate and on the mound. He led the team with 6 HR's last spring as a fresman and has been up to 90 mph on the mound. RHP/OF Tucker Busby (2026) and C/RHP Davis Ruston (2026) are two more sophomores who are expected to provide key contributions on both sides of the ball for the Wildcats this spring.

The Wildcats will look to continue their recent trend of success and late playoff runs in Class 5A this spring with another talented roster. They'll compete in Area 8 against Central-Clay County and Sylacauga for a berth in the playoffs at the end of the regular season. Expect Shelby County to once again be a strong favorite to make another playoff push in Class 5A in 2024.

Find more information on the 2024 Shelby County program below:

+ Follow them on X: @SCHSWildcats
+ Visit the Prep Baseball Alabama, 2024 HS Team Previews


+ Prep Baseball Alabama on X
+ Prep Baseball Alabama on Instagram
+ Prep Baseball Alabama on Facebook


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