Panthers advance to semis

Pelham pitcher and future Florida Gator Chris Vines (9-2) was convincing last Saturday, pitching a two-hitter while striking out 10 Sylacauga batters in the clincher of the Class 6A quarterfinals at PHS.

The win advanced the third-ranked Panthers to the semifinals.

Pelham will travel to Clay-Chalkville Friday, a best-of-three series and a rematch of last year’s semifinals. Chris Carter went 2-for-4 with an RBI from the plate in Saturday’s game.

Carter finished the two-game series 6-for-8 from the plate to lead the Panthers.

&uot;I struggled against Bob Jones,&uot; Carter said of the Panthers’ second round win. &uot;I worked hard in practice after that and I guess it just paid off.&uot;

Best known for excellence on the mound, the Panthers (27-5) compiled 10 hits Saturday and completed a two-game sweep and a 4-2 win over the Spartans.

Pelham took the first game of the series Friday night 8-3. Stormy weather forced the second game to be played on Saturday.

Pelham stranded five runners Saturday in the first two innings, but their bats came to life in the third.

Shaun Sheehan led off the third with a double before Carter drove him in to even the game at 1-1.

In the fourth, Stuart Haygood reached on a single and made it to third base on two wild pitches. He crossed home plate when the Spartans bobbled an infield grounder by Bert Smith.

Tommy Ferguson gave the Panthers an insurance run in the fifth inning, coming home on two throwing errors by the Spartans.

Vines helped his case with a solo home run over the left field fence in the seventh inning to round out the scoring for the Panthers.

Vines went 2-for-3 at the plate. He allowed the second Spartan run in the seventh on a wild pitch.

In the first game Friday night, Carter was 4-for-4 at the plate and Haygood and Scott Dickey each collected two hits. Haygood had a triple and a single.

Sheehan got the win Friday, pitching six innings without allowing a hit. After walking the leadoff batter in the seventh, Pelham head coach Mike O’Berry went to the bullpen and reliever Derik Olvey. The Notre Dame signee got the save