By CHUCK HATHCOCK
It’s a overused statement but never been more true than ever for the Grenada Chargers.
After struggling to drive runners home in scoring position in the first three region games, the Chargers rallied from a 5-2 deficit to beat Tupelo 6-5 in eight innings last week at Grenada.
Tuesday, the Chargers hosted South Panola in an important Region 2-6A contest at Charger Field.
Again, GHS found themselves trailing in the contest. They faced a 1-0 deficit and tied the game. In the bottom of the seventh, the Chargers were trailing 2-1.
For the second time in as many games, they found a win to win. Grenada tied the game and won the contest with a suicide squeeze in the bottom of the seventh for a 3-2 win.
With the victory, Grenada improves to 10-5 overall and 2-3 inside the league. South Panola drops to 8-7 overall and 1-4 inside the league.
Eighth year coach Jake Yarborough was proud of his team’s effort.
“Early in the season, we lost some games late,” Yarborough said. “That’s the nature of the sport. Our guys are battling hard just like they did early in the season. Baseball can be a funny sport. Sometimes, the breaks go your way and sometimes they don’t.”
Tuesday’s contest was just as close as the final score indicated.
“I thought it was a good game on both sides,” Yarborough said. Both teams pitched it well, defended it well, and executed well. In the end, we made the play when we had to make it. It was as good of a high school game I’ve seen in a while.”
The Chargers fell behind 2-1 in the top of the seventh as Rip Kirk singled in a run off Shelby Craddock.
Grenada came back in the bottom of the seventh to push two runs across against South Panola starter Austin Towles.
In the seventh, Ethan Burke walked after one out. Caleb Morgan followed with a single to send Burke to second base. Grenada brought on Kesner Spencer to run for Morgan.
Dillon Hill singled to score Burke to tie the game and sent Spencer to third base. Having that speed on base paid big dividends for Grenada.
Sanford came up and on a 0-1 pitch laid down a bunt to score Spencer with the game-winning run.
Having that speed on the bases was a key.
“Kesner gives us a weapon with his speed,” Yarborough said. “The play in that inning was his ability to use his speed to go from first to third on the base hit. Then, Sanford did a really good job of laying down the bunt to get Spencer home with the winning run. We work on this quite often in practice. If you have to be able to do the little things to win games.”
South Panola scored in the second on an unearned run to lead 1-0. Grenada would answer with a run in the fifth inning. Burke singled and advanced to second on a passed ball. He would later score when Sanford reached on an error.
Craddock was the winning pitcher. He allowed four hits in going the distance. The senior walked two and struck out three.
Grenada travels to South Panola tonight. Junior varsity action at 4 p.m. followed by varsity action at 6 p.m.