Grissom forces game three in baseball playoff series with Pelham

After losing 13-3 via the mercy rule Friday, April 30, the Grissom Tigers rallied to take game two, 5-4, to force a final game three in the Class 6A baseball playoff series against the Pelham Panthers.

Duncan Harrity slugged a two-run single in the fifth inning of game two to give the Tigers the come-from-behind victory.

The Tigers and Panthers will play the final game of the series Saturday, May 1 at 1 p.m.

The Panthers find themselves in familiar territory, having had to play a game three in the first two rounds of the playoffs.

“It’s tough to have a lead with two innings to go and let it slip away,” Pelham head coach Jeff Mauldin said. “But we’ve been here two weeks in a row. I told the team they can’t get down.”

Pelham got down in the first inning of the second game when Blake Crank knocked an RBI double, and then later scored on a throwing error from the catcher to third base.

The Panthers took the lead in the third when Michael Bishop blasted a three-run homerun, but the lead was short lived as the Tigers tied the game up in the fourth off a Josh Macurdy bunt for an RBI single.

Grissom reliever Grant Bush gave up a run on a bases-loaded walk in the fifth inning to give Pelham a 4-3 lead, but Bush found his groove and struck out six in 2 2/3 innings work to pick up the win.

“To carve that lineup, that’s sensational,” Grissom head coach Adam Moseley said.

Mauldin said the Grissom pitchers are some of the best the Panthers have faced all year, and he knew his team was in for a battle.

“Grissom, they’re here for a reason,” Mauldin said. “They’re definitely one of the best teams in the state.”

Harrity led the Tigers at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Patrick Dodson, Brandon Lawing and Crank also each finished with a hit.

For Pelham, Michael Bishop had two of the Panthers’ three hits, finishing 2-for-3.

In game one, Pelham’s offense didn’t have a hard time hitting the ball as the Panthers scattered 17 hits.

Blake Massey gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead off of a solo homerun in the first inning, but Andrew Bishop answered with a homerun of his own in the bottom half of the inning to tie the ballgame.

The Panthers added two more runs in the second and one more in the third before Tripp Martin capped a five-run fourth inning with a two-run homerun.

The Tigers added a run in the fourth and sixth innings, as did the Panthers in the fifth inning, before Michael Bishop blasted a three-run homerun over the centerfield fence in the bottom of the sixth to end the game due to the mercy rule.

“That kid can fall out of bed and get three hits,” Mauldin said jokingly of Michael. “He is the model of consistency.”

Trevor Fitts picked up his fourth win of the playoffs for the Panthers.

“You can’t say enough about Fitts,” Mauldin said. “We’re asking a whole lot from this kid, but he just does whatever he needs to do.”