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May 29, 2014
Hallsville High School



          PALMYRA...................5  (9 inn)

                 Entertaining, exciting, anxiety-riddled...............this highly competitive matchup in state playoffs of Class 3 baseball was back and forth with Hallsville standing victorious in the end.  The Indians captured a 7-5 win over the Palmyra Panthers in extra innings to advance to quarterfinal play.  Hallsville will again host when O'Fallon Christian travels here for a 5pm contest today (Wed.)  The winner will advance to next week's FINAL FOUR at TR HUGHES stadium in O'Fallon, Mo.

                Palmyra took a 1-0 lead in the 1st inning on a couple of hard-hit singles sandwiched around a sac bunt.  Hallsville came back two frames later when Cole Burkett led off with a walk and Nathan Goett hammered a two-run homer over the left field barrier for a 2-1 lead.

The Panthers scored to knot the score at 2-all with a couple of hits in the 4th; then opened a lead with two tallies in the 6th for a 4-2 score.

                The Indians had a rally in them, however.  In the top of the 7th, Hallsville's DH, Collin Drummond dropped in a one-out single into right field, then Goett drew a base on balls.  A Palmyra pitching change faced the Indians CJ Ashburn who fanned for out number two.  But back-to-back walks to Derrek Trickel and Ryan Long forced home a run closing the gap to 4-3.  Hallsville's senior third baseman, Lucas Stewart stepped to the plate and did not wait very long; he ripped the first pitch he saw from Panther reliever, Hudson, rifling a shot past the diving shortstop and into left.  The two-rbi single drove in the tying and go-ahead runners, Goett and Trickel, putting the Indians up 5-4.

But now it was the panthers turn to say "we're not ready to quit."  With two outs, Hultz lined a hit to right.  Palmyra's best hitter, Butler, stepped to the box and fouled off several offerings from Hallsville pitcher Trickel before driving a double to the base of the left field fence.  Hultz raced around to score the tying run and the threat ended on a ground out handled solo by first baseman Long.

                Both teams had a scoreless 8th inning, however, Hallsville was on the verge with runners on 1st and third with two outs when Trickel bounced into a ground out to second.

                Hallsville's fortunes brightened in the top of the 9th with a walk to lead-off batter Long.  With one out Long advanced on Tracy Fulton's hit-and-run single up the middle, but Long was tagged out heading to third when the Indians next batter, Sean Wooten, pulled a grounder to third for a fielder's choice.  But Fulton and Wooten moved up a base to third and second on Palmyra's third wild pitch of the game that set up Hallsville to score twice on an infield throwing error when Cole Burkett struck a bouncer up the middle and Palmyra's shortstop, Butler, handled the grounder but double and triple pumped, then softly bounced his throw to first allowing Burkett to reach safely and scoring both Fulton and the hustling Wooten for a 7-5 lead.

                Trickel took the mound to face the top of the Panthers' order in the bottom frame and quickly and routinely induced two infield ground outs.  But Palmyra's Butler was not ready to give in; with two outs, Butler smashed a pitch up the middle sending the tying run to the plate.  But Palmyra's first baseman, Brown banged an offering right back to Trickel who handled it deftly for a 1-3 putout and preserving the Hallsville win.

                The loss for Palmyra was only its third against 20 wins.  Hallsville is now 14-8.  The game was a rematch of last year's sectional matchup when Hallsville downed the Panthers 9-0 on the way to a final four appearance.

                For the Indians, Drummond and Goett each had two hits including Goett's round-tripper that accounted for his two RBI.  Stewart also drove in two with his 1-4 performance.  Hallsville scored their seven runs on eight hits, seven walks, three stolen bases, and three costly Panther errors.

                Hallsville's two errors were minimized and did not lead to runs as the Panthers' five runs were all earned off nine hits and only two walks.  The indians' starting pitcher, Ashburn threw five innings, struck out two, walked one, and allowed five hits leading to four earned runs.  Ashburn was relieved in the 6th and Trickel allowed the two runs to score at Ashburn's responsibility.  Trickel picked up the win, now 3-3, in four innings, one earned run, four hits, two walks, and fanning one.



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