Panthers take Area 10 lead

A bases loaded, no-out jam didn’t faze Pelham junior pitcher Trae Santos on Friday, as he retired 13-straight Thompson Warrior hitters. He allowed one run in the opening inning, but picked up a 7-1 victory to take a 2-0 lead in Class 6A, Area 10.

It’s the pitching that most of the team points to as credit for the Panthers 12-1 start.

“Just sit over there and watch Santos do his work, and when he has his stuff we can’t be beat,” Panther third baseman Austin Dubberly said. “The pitching is really good this year. That’s what’s going to get us through the big games … even our relief is really good this year.”

Starting with Santos is sophomore Trevor Fitts, with Tripp Martin and Thomas Milstead in relief.

“The biggest thing about our pitchers is we’re very young, we’re very good, but we’re very young,” head coach Jeff Mauldin said. “It’s fun to work with the youth when they’re good and eager to learn. They really shouldn’t be here on varsity as freshmen and sophomores, so they walk around with that swagger and confidence.”

Dubberly said it’s that confidence that will lead the Panthers this season.

“We go into every game, not cocky, but confident that we’re going to play well. Instead of coming out here and running through the motions, we get to the point and take care of business. We don’t take anybody lightly,” Dubberly said.

Pelham took the Area 10 lead after Oak Mountain and Spain Park split last week. Hoover was off.

Pelham takes two weeks off from Area 10 play, while Hoover (10-5) takes on Spain Park this week, while Oak Mountain plays Thompson. Pelham will meet Spain Park in its next area series, March 24 and 27.