The Tigers picked up a run in the bottom of the third on a RBI-single to left by Keaton Kilgro off Trojan reliever Brandon Crane to make the score 5-3. The two teams were scoreless in the fourth and fifth innings, setting the stage for the Tigers’ 11- run outburst in the bottom of the sixth.
Ethan Teague led off the inning with a home run to left. Teague’s blast opened the flood gates for the other Tiger hitters.
“In the sixth inning, I believe we got on the ball,” said Teague, who finished the game going 2- for- 3 with his homer and a double. He was also intentionally walked. “We started playing our best baseball and we showed what we can do. Tuesday (a 7-2 loss at Gaylesville), we popped the ball up and we knew what we had to do. All day Wednesday we worked on hitting the ball solid, hitting line drives. We all did great. I’m just proud to come out here and be a leader for everybody.”
Teague’s homer was the first of three shots the Tigers sent out of the park in the sixth. They sent 15 batters to the plate against Crane in the inning.
“We’ve got a good ball club when we’re playing confident and playing loose,” Kinney said.
“The kids will tell you pressure is for tires. When we put pressure on ourselves, that’s when we tend to fold. We’ve been telling our guys to just relax. We’ve been trying to do anything we can for them to make them just have fun. If we’re having fun, we’re a tough team to beat.”
Dingler led the Tigers at the plate by going 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles. Dobbins went 3-for4. Bishop doubled, singled and walked twice. Burt was 2-for-4, including his grand slam. Wilson finished with a pair of hits including his three-run shot.
Bentheimer led the Trojans at the plate by going 2-for-3 with a walk. Austin Stordahl also had a pair of hits and was hit by a pitch. Brayden Stordahl and Crane both had a hit. Henry Steele earned four walks and was hit by a pitch.
“It is what is, but the good thing about it is we’ve got free baseball,” Boyd said. “I’m excited about that and I’m excited for our kids.”
Added Kinney: “It’s good that we host because no one wants to make that drive to South Lamar. I think we’ll get Holy Spirit here (next) Friday. That will be a good home crowd for us I’m sure. It’s always good when you get to host and win your area. That’s great for our kids and our community.”
GAYLESVILLE — On April 11, the Trojans made sure Thursday’s game at Cedar Bluff would mean something other than pride. They put the pressure on the Tigers and starting pitcher Keaton Kilgro with a four-run bottom of the third inning in a 7-2 victory.
The big blow of the inning was a two-run single by Devin Bentheimer. Austin Stordahl added a run- scoring single to center. Leadoff hitter Brayden Stordahl got the inning started with a single to center and later scored on a passed ball.
But the Tigers didn’t tuck their tails and go quietly.
They managed a pair of runs in the top of the fourth to trim the Trojan lead to 4-2.
Ross Johnson led off the inning by reaching on a hit-by-pitch. Kilgro followed with a RBI-double to left center. Ethan Teague later added a RBI-single to left off Trojan starter Colby Scott.
Gaylesville got a run back in the bottom half of the fifth on a RBI-single by Brandon Crane, then Crane put the icing on the game in the bottom of the sixth with his two-run blast to left off Kilgro.
Crane also slammed the door on the Tigers on the mound. He came in to relieve Scott in the fifth and tossed three innings of hitless ball. He only allowed a walk to Johnson in the top of the fifth.
“We knew what we had to come out here and do, and we had our minds set on doing it,” Crane said. “I don’t think we were nervous at all. We were ready to come out here today. Everybody was ready at the plate and ready in the field.”
Bentheimer led the Trojans at the plate by going 3- for- 4 with two RBIs. Crane and Brayden Stordahl were both 2-for-3. Crane drove in three runs.
Scott picked up the win after tossing four innings. He gave up both Tiger runs on five hits with no walks and three strikeouts.
“Colby has been our best pitcher overall,” Boyd said.
“He’s pitched in some tough luck. He’s thrown a lot of innings for us. He gave us a chance to win the first game at Woodville, but he got beat 2-1. He pitched a whale of a game up there. We knew going in today with this one he was going to give us another great effort.
“We got to the situation where he’d thrown enough pitches, and they were about to come through with the lineup for a third time. We made a decision that he had pitched well enough to win, so let’s pull him. We’ve got Brandon Crane who can throw lights out for us, and he came in and did exactly what he was supposed to do. He threw lights out and hit a big two- run home run for us.”
Kilgro suffered the loss after working five innings. He finished with five strikeouts.
Kilgro also led the Tigers at the plate by going 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles. Johnson was 1-for1 with a single, a walk and hit by a pitch. Teague and Samuel Cosby both had a hit apiece.