BATESVILLE – To the average fan, pitch counts may not mean a lot.
They mean a lot to coaches.
This past Friday, the Grenada Chargers face Region 2-6A rival South Panola and ace Hunter Ivy. Trailing 2-1 in the sixth, Ivy showed signs of tiring due to elevated pitch counts.
Grenada was able to get Ivy out of the game in the sixth forcing him out of the game with two runs to take a 3-2 lead. In the seventh, the GHS patience at the plate again played dividends with an eight-run inning against three different pitchers. The Chargers emerged with an 11-2 win.
With the win, GHS improves to 11-5 overall and 3-3 inside the division. South Panola drops to 8-8 and 1-5.
“I thought the big difference in the game was our patience at the plate,” Coach Jake Yarborough said. “The average fan watching probably doesn’t pay much attention to pitch counts. We were able to have a number of high pitch at bats early against Ivy. You could see him begin to tire and we were able to get some key hits late in the game.”
South Panola pitchers finished the night with 10 walks. They also hit three batters in the contest.
After one out, Ethan Burke reached on an error by first baseman Rip Kirk. Burke advanced to second on a wild pitch and third on Caleb Morgan’s ground ball out.
With two outs, Burke sprinted home with the tying run on a passed ball. Dillon Hall walked and scored on Bradley Sanford’s single, making it 3-2.
In the seventh inning, Shelby Craddock was hit by the pitch. Jay Redditt walked and Will Jordan was hit by the pitch to load the bases.
Josh Greer followed with a walk to force home a run. Burke drove home a pair of runs with a single. Morgan walk to loaded the bases again.
Hill singled in a run to make it 7-2. Sanford doubled in a pair of runs, making it 9-2. The Chargers closed out the scoring with two more runs on passed balls.
Morgan earned the win for the Chargers. He allowed just seven hits while walking one and striking out eight.
“Caleb really pitched well,” Yarborough said. He’s a memory player with a lot of baseball knowledge.”
Grenada got an early 1-0 lead with a run in the first inning. Brandon Williams doubled, advanced to third base on Redditt’s singled. He scored on Jordan’s ground ball out.
South Panola answered with a run in the bottom of the first inning. They took the lead with a run in the bottom of the third.
Sanford paced the eight-hit attack with two hits, driving in three runs. Redditt and Hill both had two hits.
Grenada is back in the Region 2-6A postseason race. The Chargers are currently in third place behind Tupelo and Hernando. Three teams make the postseason.
“Our guys could have easily quit after losing their first three games,” Yarborough said. “We also had chances in those games to get a win. There is still a lot of baseball left to be played.”
Grenada was scheduled to travel to Hernando Tuesday to play the Tigers. Gametime is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday, Grenada will be at Tupelo. Junior varsity play begins at 4 p.m.