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LIONS OPEN 2013 BASEBALL SEASON WITH A SPILT
March 3, 2013By Jimmy White of Prattville High School
LIONS TAKE NIGHTCAP 5-4 AFTER OPELIKA RALLYS TO WIN OPENER, 13-8
Prattville’s baseball team opened its 2013 baseball season Monday afternoon at the school’s diamond. The Lions earned a spilt of a double dipper with the Opelika Bulldogs.
Opelika scored seven runs in their final at bat to hand Prattville a tough 13-8 defeat in the opener. Prattville then won the nightcap in extra innings tacking on a run in the bottom of the eighth inning to nip the Bulldogs 5-4 earning the spilt.
Blair Gornto pitched four solid innings in the opener, scattering five hits and striking out nine while walking only one. First year head coach, Martin Jackson, then used three hurlers to finish the game bringing in Brandon Holder, Elijah Stewart and Chandler Mullins.
Stewart and Mullins pitched the seventh inning giving up four hits, walking one, hitting one and a costly error along with a wild pitch and a stolen base proved too costly as Opelika pushed over five unearned runs to come from behind and pick up the win.
In the nightcap the Lions jumped to a 3-0 lead, but couldn’t hold it, as Opelika scored twice in the third inning off starter Brandon Mathis and then knotted the game in the seventh inning after one was out.
Prattville scored the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning with a clutch base hit from Dalton Yarnell to chase Mathis home with the winning run. Mathis had doubled to centerfield to start the eighth inning.
FIRST GAME: OPELIKA 13 PRATTVILLE 8
After the Bulldogs took a 3-0 lead off Gornto aided by a costly error and passed ball, Prattville rallied for four runs in their half of the third inning after one was out. Donovan Fisher started the rally with a double, followed by base raps from Yarnell and Chandler Kemp. Opelika aided the cause with a hit batter and a costly throwing error from starting pitcher Chris Brown.
Prattville sailed along adding two runs in the fourth inning with Garrison Mathis’ double for a 6-3 leads, then increased the lead to 7-3 after five innings.
The final two innings were not pretty for the Lions’ relief pitchers. The Bulldogs stroked out six hits, while the Lions kicked the ball around in both innings giving up six unearned runs and dropping the opener.
Mathis and Yarnell both collected two base hits to pace the Lions’ hit parade.
SECOND GAME: PRATTVILLE 5 OPELIKA 4
Yarnell continued his hitting in the nightcap driving home Mullins for an early Prattville 1-0 lead. A walk to Mathis and base raps from Thames and Mullins gave the Lions a3-0 lead
Opelika tack on two runs in the third inning when B. J. White rapped a two run round tripper.
Prattville pushed over a solo run in the third inning to increase the lead to 4-2. Chandler Kemp singled then went to second when Stewart walked, then scored when Zach Brown rolled out to short.
After one was out in the seventh inning Stephen Roberts reached base on an outfield error by Ethan Lambdin. Chase Hegwood then walked. Matthew Christian rapped a scorcher down third base line scoring Roberts and Hegwood to knot the game sending it to extra innings.
Yarnell held the Bulldogs at bay in the eighth inning striking out two and Preston Hall threw out Young attempting to steal second after his single to centerfield.
In the Lions half of the eighth inning Mathis started with a double into centerfield. Will Hamm sacrifice Mathis to third base. Mullins and Fisher walked to load the bases bringing up Yarnell. Yarnell rapped a single into right field to score Mathis with the winning run.