Wildcats lose in extra-innings

NEAL EMBRY / For the Reporter

COLUMBIANA – On a chilly night in Columbiana, the Shelby County Wildcats found themselves down by three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to the Volunteers from Central of Clay County.

After outfielder Cody Venable reached base on a fielder’s choice, Adam Landefeld joined him on the base paths with a double. Spencer Dill drove Venable in with an RBI single, and the Wildcats had the tying run at first base.

Central of Clay County’s pitcher attempted a pickoff move to first base, but the ball sailed into right field, allowing Landefeld to score. The Volunteers threw the ball to third in an attempt to tag Dill out, but the ball got by the third basemen, allowing the Wildcats to tie the game and get the home crowd on their feet.

The Volunteers were able to take the lead in the sixth inning on four straight walks from Wildcats pitcher Kelby Jennings. Jennings pitched seven innings, allowing two earned runs while striking out five batters.

Shelby County refused to bow out quietly, however, and came back to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh. Cody Jones led off the inning with a single, and came home on a Dill RBI double.

In extra innings, the Volunteers took the lead without a hit. The leadoff batter reached base on an error, and after being bunted over to second, scored on two consecutive passed balls by the Wildcats. Shelby County was unable to get a runner on base in the bottom half of the inning, and lost the game 5-4.