Elmore County, Holtville scrap until last out; pennant race tightensPublished 9:23am Thursday, March 28, 2013
After a weekend split with Holtville, the Elmore County Panthers may be in the driver’s seat, but Childersburg’s holding the keys as the 2013 baseball season speeds toward the finish line.
“It’s all going to depend on what we do against them,” said Panthers coach Wendell Jackson.
The Panthers went 1-2 against Holtville over the weekend (a 2-0 loss on the road, followed by a 6-5 win and a 4-3 loss at McGhee Field).
“If Elmore County sweeps Childersburg, we’re out,” Bulldogs coach Kevin Hall said. “We are going to have to take 2-of-3 from (Childersburg) and hope for some help along the way. It’s not a good scenario for us.”
Behind Childersburg is an Elmore County traffic jam. Tallassee (a sweep of Holtville) split with the Panthers.
“The big thing is that we won the area game and got the split,” said Jackson.
Splits have been the running theme in the Panthers’ area match-ups so far this season.
“They are hanging in there, but they can’t split with Childersburg,” said Hall. “They are in the driver’s seat ahead of us. I told our boys after Saturday’s games, we’ve made our beds and now we have to sleep in them.”
Childersburg plays Elmore County April 5-6 on the heels of a Monday-Tuesday area series with Tallassee. Coming into the weekend’s series with Holtville the Panthers were in a corner. Holtville won 2-0 in Slapout as Hunter Davis stymied Panthers hitters.
“He took the bats out of our hands.”
After taking a 2-0 lead in game one at McGhee Field, the Panthers fell behind 5-2 going into their final at-bat. A Bulldogs error, though, keyed Elmore County’s game-winning rally. Austin Adams beat out a throw from second and then scored on a Coy Holley single to left. Michael Wayne Walls singled and then Tyler Black drew a walk with the Panthers trailing 5-4.
Joseph Kelley singled to score Holley and Walls and tie the game at five with one out.
Brandon Arnold, who pitched up six innings, stepped up and sprayed a Colton Campbell offering to right. The sacrifice was deep enough to score Black from third and give the Bulldogs the win.
“We were lucky to have speed on third,” said Jackson. “We were very lucky that the catcher dropped the ball. I don’t really know what happened, I just saw the ball on the ground.”
The Panthers are in action in Wetumpka beginning today as part of the Barry Mask Spring Break Invitational.
“We’re playing three 6A (teams) and a 5A,” said Jackson. “Our kids compete at any level and they enjoy it. They’d rather play quality schools and get something out of it. Plus it takes some of the pressure off and let’s us work on some things.”