Panthers sweep opening series

Pelham High School baseball players congratulate teammate Tanner Jackson following his walk-off hit in the Panthers' 2-1 win over Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa in the opening game of the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 6A playoffs April 20. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

By WESLEY HALLMAN / Sports Editor

The Pelham High School baseball team swept Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa in the first round of the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 6A playoffs April 20.

The Panthers defeated Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 2-1 in eight innings in the series opener.

Tanner Jackson drove in Parker Curry with his two-out RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Jackson led Pelham offensively with two hits in the victory. Curry, Ty Pierce, Sam Finnerty and Jackson Pruitt added one hit each.

Hunter Soleymani earned the win on the mound after giving up just one run on four hits while recording 12 strikeouts in a complete-game victory.

Pelham defeated Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 16-2 in five innings in the nightcap.

Pruitt and Fletcher Johnson led the Panthers offensively with three hits each.

Pierce, Jackson, Soleymani and Thomas Lowery added two hits each in the victory. Sam Finnerty finished with one hit. Hunter Stovall, who had a sacrifice fly, drove in two runs and scored one run in the win.

Lowery earned the win on the mound after giving up two runs on four hits while recording five strikeouts in a five-inning complete-game victory.

Pelham (33-2) will host Hoover, an AHSAA Class 6A, Area 10 opponent, in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs April 27-28. The two teams will meet in a doubleheader April 27 with the first game scheduled for 4:30 p.m. and the nightcap set for 7 p.m. The if-necessary game is scheduled for April 28 at 11 a.m.