The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

May 4, 2013

Ardmore denied in 7th inning

Tigers split with Cubs, will play game 3 Monday

By Jonathan Deal
jonathan@athensnews-courier.com

ARDMORE — With a heavy rain spraying his face, Ben Hargrove stepped up to bat in the top of the seventh inning with an eye toward the scoreboard.

Trailing 3-1 with one out, Hargrove was the tying run in game two of Friday night’s playoff series between Ardmore and Alexandria.

After winning the first game 9-1, Hargrove could help his team and end the series with a solid hit.

He never got that chance.

What had been a steady drizzle throughout both games had become a downpour, blowing sideways in the faces of the players and fans looking on. After a 25-minute delay, officials decided to call the game, awarding Alexandria a 3-1 win.

“We wanted to finish,” Ardmore head coach Andrew Smith said. “With a runner on second and the tying run at the plate, we would have liked to see what would happen.”

Game three was postponed until Monday at Ardmore due to the soggy conditions. A time had not been set as of press time Saturday.

Trailing 1-0 in the top of the third, Austin Turner drove home a run to tie the game for Ardmore in that second game.

The game remained tied until a big-fifth inning from Alexandria. With Hargrove on the mound, Ardmore faced a bases-loaded situation with no outs.

Hargrove struck out the next batter, but a gave up a sacrifice fly to the Cubs’ Jake Whiting. Alexandria’s Dalton Fisher tagged from third base following the catch to set up a collision at home plate with catcher Hayden Durrett.

Durrett was flagged for obstruction and Alexandria was awarded with a run. The Cubs added another run to take a 3-1 lead into the seventh when it was called.

Cody Reed was on the mound in game one for Ardmore’s 9-1 win to open the series. The senior struck out 13 batters and gave up three hits in a complete game.

“Both of them pitched really well,” Smith said about Reed and Hargrove. “They located the ball really well and the defense played really well behind them.”

The Tigers helped out their star pitcher by taking a three-run lead in the bottom of the second inning. Tyler McCarley opened the scoring when he drove home Durrett from second. A couple of errors from Alexandria allowed Ardmore to take a 3-0 lead.

The Tigers essentially put the game out of reach the next inning when they scored five runs – all with two outs on the scoreboard.

“That’s the way this year has gone,” Smith said about the two-out rally. “Our guys just keeping battling. They just keep fighting the entire game.”

The scoring started once again with an RBI single from McCarley that drove home Durrett. Thomas Davidson then sliced a ball down the right field line that scored McCarley and Garrett Miller.

Davidson later scored after consecutive wild pitches, and Reed finished the scoring spree with another RBI single that scored Clark and forced a pitching change from Alexandria.

The third-inning also featured a scary moment when Alexandria’s Johnny Watts collided with the left-field fence after catching a fly ball. The collision knocked Watts unconscious and delayed the game for approximately 25 minutes.

Ardmore and Alexandria will continue their third round series Monday afternoon.