Pelham advances to second round with win over Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa

The Pelham High School baseball team advanced to the second round of the Class 6A playoffs with a 20-11 win in the deciding third game of the Panthers’ playoff opener April 17.

Tripp Martin started on the mound for the Panthers (36-3) and picked up the win. Thomas Lowery pitched in relief.

Pelham coach Jeff Mauldin said Martin, who gave up a home run in the first inning, had a strong outing.

“I thought Tripp did a really good job of settling down,” Mauldin said.

Michael and Andrew Bishop each went 4-for-4. Andrew Bishop had a home run.

Ty Pierce went 2-for-3 and scored three runs.

Mauldin said he told his players before the game to not to put any added pressure on themselves in the deciding third game.

“I told the kids before the game I don’t feel any pressure,” Mauldin said. “I told them to go out there, relax and have fun. I felt like we came out really relaxed.”

Tuscaloosa County 9, Spain Park 8

The Jaguars dropped their deciding third game against Tuscaloosa County 9-8, but Spain Park coaches have filed a protest with the Alabama High School Athletic Association saying Tuscaloosa County violated the state association’s pitching rules.

Spain Park assistant coach David Spencer said a Tuscaloosa County pitcher took the mound in four innings in a game Friday and pitched in four innings in Saturday’s game.

Spencer said the pitcher entered Saturday’s game with two outs in the third inning and pitched in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.

AHSAA pitching rules do not allow a pitcher to pitch more than seven innings combined in back-to-back appearances in consecutive days, and one pitch thrown in an inning is ruled as an inning pitched.

The Jaguars have filed paperwork detailing their protest to the AHSAA.

Spain Park held an 8-0 lead in the fifth inning before the Wildcats rallied to score nine runs in the final three innings.

Jake Lee went 3-for-4 and scored two runs. Carter White and Chris Ellis finished 2-for-3 each. Ellis also drove in a run and scored a run.

Aaron Haag went 1-for-4 and drove in three runs. Mikey White and Graham Craig had one hit each.