Panthers win rivalry game in extra innings

Published 10:45 pm Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Warriors jumped to an early 2-0 lead following the bottom half of the first inning. Tolbert and Sherman led off the inning with singles before Davenport drove the pair of baserunners home with his triple to the center-field wall.

Pelham cut the deficit to one run in the top of the second inning. Johnson reached base on a walk before scoring on an RBI single to center field by Stovall.

The Panthers tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the fifth inning. Pierce led off with a double down the right field line before eventually scoring on a fielder’s choice by Soleymani. Pierce beat the throw to home plate by Thompson shortstop Davis Cox to score the tying run.

Pelham had an opportunity to plate the go-ahead run in the top of the seventh inning with base runners on second and third. However, McRee entered in relief of Walters and struck out pinch-hitter Eli Beall to end the scoring threat.

Stovall led off the top of the ninth inning with a double to the left-center field gap. Pierce followed with a bunt single down the third base line. Stovall, who moved to third base on the bunt single, forced a run down between third base and home plate before being tagged out, which allowed Pierce to advance to third base with only one out in the inning.

Following a strikeout by Parker Curry and an intentional walk issued to Soleymani, Wilson lined an RBI single to center field to plate the go-ahead run. The Panthers added an insurance run on a passed ball.

Soleymani, who retired the side in order in the bottom half of the ninth inning, allowed just one baserunner in the final four innings to limit the Warriors’ chances of a late-inning victory.

Pelham improved to 24-1 overall with the victory. The Panthers opened the season with 21 consecutive victories.

“Our chemistry is really good,” Mauldin said. “We’re finding ways to win.”