By CHUCK HATHCOCK
Yogi Berra’s most famous saying was “It ain’t over till its over.”
The Grenada Chargers can certainly attest to that statement being true.
Grenada led Hernando 4-3 with two outs and two strikes in the bottom of the seventh inning of the Region 2-6A opener Tuesday at Hernando.
What happened next tells you just how crazy the game can be. Grenada starting pitcher Shelby Craddock surrendered a two-out, two strike homerun to Timothy Rowe that tied the game. He walked the next batter and gave way to Brantley Shaw.
Shaw walked the next three batters, forcing in a run to help the Tigers win a 5-4 decision over the Chargers.
With the loss, GHS slips to 6-3 overall and 0-1 inside the region.
“It was a hard fought game for both teams,” Grenada coach Jake Yarborough said. “Our guys battled all night. They just were able to make something happen at the end.”
One glaring stat in the game was that Grenada stranded 10 runners on base. Those missed chances proved to be a difference.
“The other thing that stood out was that we had some chances to score and didn’t take advantage of them,” Yarborough said. “You have to be able to score those runs in close games.”
Craddock pitched valiantly but ran into pitch count problems in the seventh. He finished with 123 total pitches.
“Shelby did a good job for us,” Yarborough said. “He made a quality on the homerun. The batter went out and was able to drive it out of the park the other way. He was coming out whether he walked the batter following the homerun or not. The pitch count was up there.”
The Chargers opened the contest scoring a run in the top of the first.
Craddock opened the game being hit by the pitch. Courtesy runner Jacob Banks advanced to second on Jay Redditt’s one-out single. Josh Greer walked to load the bases. Ethan Burke plated the run with a sacrifice fly to make it 1-0.
In the second, Hernando scored three times on three hits and took advantage of a Grenada error. Aaron Smith had a run-scoring double in the inning.
The Chargers tied the game in the top of the third with two runs.
Will Jordan opened the frame with a single followed by a walk from Redditt. After one out, the runners advanced on a wild pitch. Dillon Hill drove in a run with a hit and Redditt scored on the play to tie the game at 3-3.
Grenada took the lead in the top of the sixth as Jordan had a two-out single to score courtesy runner Kesner Spencer, giving the Chargers a 4-3 lead.
Jordan and Hill paced the GHS hitting attack with two hits each.
Grenada returns to action tonight hosting Hernando. Yarborough hopes his team will put this loss behind him and move on to the next game.
“We talked about moving on to the next one,” Yarborough said. “You can either build on it or let it affect the rest of your season.”
Junior varsity action begins at 4 p.m. followed by the varsity at 6 p.m. Saturday, GHS will be at Cleveland for games beginning at 12 p.m.