Throwing Fitts: Pelham pitcher strikes out 16 in win over Thompson

Pelham pitcher Trevor Fitts struck out 16 batters March 23 as the Panthers held on for the 2-0 victory over cross-town rival Thompson.

The Warriors threatened to score in the sixth inning when Taylor Bria and Alex Henderson started off the inning with back-to-back hits, and then Andrew Smith moved the runners over with a sacrifice bunt.

However, back-to-back strikeouts on the Warriors’ three and four hitters ended the inning and Thompson’s hopes of the come-from-behind win.

“He absolutely bared down right there,” Pelham head coach Jeff Mauldin said of Fitts. “That’s what big-time pitchers do.

“Those two at-bats decided the game,” Mauldin added. “That was a big-time performance.”

The Panthers got on the board in the third inning when Andrew Bishop’s RBI single brought in Reed Bright, but it was a Thompson miscue that allowed Pelham’s final run in the fourth inning.

Following a double by Pelham’s Parker Curry to move the runner to third, Thompson pitcher Mason Morris was called for a balk and the Panthers’ run scored.

“We gave them some free passes, but their guy executed and he threw well,” Thompson head coach Pat Hamrick said.

Offensively for the Panthers, Andrew Bishop was 1-for-1 with an RBI, Curry was 1-for-2 with a double and Michael Bishop was 1-for-4.

For Thompson, Jonathan Keller, Taylor Bria, Andrew Smith and Henderson each had a hit.

The two rivals will get another crack at each other Friday, March 26 at 6:30 p.m. at Thompson.