By Jonathan Deal
Through two innings against Randolph, Cody Reed could do no wrong. In the first two innings of Ardmore’s first-round playoff series Friday, the senior left-hander struck out every batter he faced, had a two-run homer and a three-run RBI-double.
Reed helped Ardmore win the opening game 7-3 before eliminating Randolph with a 7-5 win in the second game.
After retiring three straight to start the game, Reed stepped to the plate with a runner at first with two outs. After taking the first pitch, Reed sent the second to the top of the light pole in left field.
The two-run shot soared into the trees and set the tone for the rest of the game.
“I didn’t feel it at all,” Reed said about the home run. “It was a fast ball, high and inside.”
Reed retired the next three batters he faced and came to the plate again in the bottom of the second with bases loaded. Instead of intentionally walking Reed, Randolph chose to pitch to the senior.
It would be the last time.
Reed ripped one to center field, clearing the bases with a three-RBI double. Hunter Moore followed that with a hard-hit single to score Reed and give Ardmore a 7-0 lead after two innings.
Ardmore remained comfortably in control until the top of the fifth when Randolph broke Reed’s no-hitter with three hits to pull within 7-3. With two outs, Randolph scored three runs until Reed ended the rally with his second strikeout of the inning.
He would go on to strike out four more batters over the next two innings to bring his tally to 15.
In the second game, both teams scored three runs in the opening inning. Ardmore added one run in the second and three in the third to take another 7-3 lead. Randolph scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth, but could not rally for more.
Donny Rogers led Ardmore with three hits and two RBIs. Thomas Davidson and Hayden Durrett each had a hit and scored runs for the Tigers.
Garrett Miller got the pitching win, striking out 10 batters while giving up eight hits.
Ardmore will play at North Jackson in the second round.