They had them right where they wanted them.
Ardmore trailed Alexandria 3-2 in the seventh inning during the final game of their third round playoff series Tuesday afternoon. The Tigers have won so many games this season in the final inning, they didn’t blink when faced with another late game deficit.
With one out on the scoreboard and a runner in scoring position, Ben Hargrove and Cody Reed made history for Ardmore with the swing of their bats. Hargrove drove home Thomas Davidson with an RBI-single to tie the score before Reed added another RBI with a shot to left field that scored Adam Clark.
Reed’s hit was the last of four consecutive hits that sent Ardmore to the 4A semifinals for the first time in school history. It was the final home at bat for Hargrove and Clark.
“We just keep coming back all the time,” said Reed, a Vanderbilt commitment. “Thomas came through clutch with a double, Ben doing his stuff and then I just did the best I could with a 3-2 count.”
After retaking the lead in the top of the seventh, Reed and the Ardmore defense made sure they didn’t lose it again in a three-up-three-down inning. It was Reed’s 14th inning in the series, which was delayed twice due to rain causing the final game in the series to be pushed back until Tuesday.
It was a fitting end to what had been a tense third round playoff series for Ardmore. The Tigers were denied a chance to come back Friday night in game two. Trailing 3-1 in the top of the seventh, Alexandria was awarded a win after the game was called off because of heavy rain.
Tuesday’s win was the second time for Ardmore to earn a come from behind win during the playoffs. They previously rallied Against Madison County in the second round to win the opening game 5-4 in extra innings.
“That seventh inning the past few weeks has been where they’ve stepped up,” Ardmore head coach Andrew Smith said. “They’ve been down, but they’re not out. They’ve had some great at bats in the seventh inning. Our guys just kept battling back until the very end.”
After swapping runs in the opening inning Tuesday, Hargrove gave his team a 2-1 lead in the second inning with a solo shot to center field. The visitors tied the game once again in the bottom of the second before taking the lead in the fifth.
With two outs, Logan Doss hit a short chopper to Reed, who slipped on the rain-soaked field and allowed Cole Burgess to score from third. Reed more than made up for the error by striking out three batters over the next two innings. The junior finished with eight strikeouts in a complete game.
“We knew we had to win this game before anything else,” said Reed. “I was tired, pitching on three days rest. Coming off a 121-pitch game and having just a few days rest, I haven’t done that all year. It’s pretty rough.”
Ardmore (24-8) advanced to play at No. 3 ranked Brooks (43-9) Friday, beginning at 11 a.m. Because Reed pitched a complete game Tuesday, AHSAA rules stipulate he can’t pitch again until Saturday.
“It was a one game season today,” said Smith. “We had to win today or we go home. Our other two guys will throw Friday and we feel comfortable with them. They’ve won a bunch of games for us this year.”
Tigers advance to semis for 1st time
They had them right where they wanted them.
Tributes planned to mark Boston Marathon bombing
The anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings started with a solemn wreath-laying ceremony Tuesday morning at the site of the twin explosions, the first tribute in a day dedicated to honoring the three people who died, the more than 260 people who were injured, and the first responders, doctors and nurses who helped them.
- Olympic great Michael Phelps ending retirement
Bubba Watson wins another green jacket at Augusta
One of golf's most exciting players squeezed most of the drama out of the Masters on Sunday. That's just fine with Bubba Watson.
Mechanic gives himself belated 50th birthday gift
Miguel Angel Jimenez gave himself a belated 50th birthday gift: one of the best rounds ever for a senior golfer at Augusta National.
Prosecutor: Pistorius' story doesn't add up
The prosecutor cross-examining Oscar Pistorius in his murder trial Friday tried to shred his version of events the night he shot and killed his girlfriend, saying they do not add up and go against how people would react in the situation the double-amputee Olympian has described.
Haas grabs Masters lead with 68, Scott in the mix
With dad in his ear, Bill Haas turned in the best round of his Masters career Thursday.
Now he wants to do what his father never could — finish the job.
Rookies grab early Masters lead, Scott in the mix
A pair of Masters rookies grabbed the early lead at Augusta National on Thursday, while defending champion Adam Scott was off to a strong start in his quest to keep the green jacket.
Masters opens with Woods on the sideline
The Masters is underway with three shots right down the middle of the fairway. Just not terribly far.
Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus hit the ceremonial tee shots Thursday morning with fans already lining both sides of the first fairway. Still competitive even after all these years, Nicklaus went last and hit a drive that went about a yard past Player's shot.
The anticipation and mystery of the Masters
A quick stroll across the manicured landscape of Augusta National afforded a glimpse of why this Masters is so hard to figure out.
Without Tiger, the Masters has an open look
One after another, some of the world's best players and favorites to win the Masters trudged up the hill on the opening hole to start their practice rounds.
- More Sports Headlines
- Tributes planned to mark Boston Marathon bombing