Pelham opens playoffs with dominant showing, advances to 2nd round

Published 11:50 pm Friday, April 22, 2022

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By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

MONTGOMERY – The Pelham Panthers had to hit the road for the opening round of the Class 6A playoffs, but their bats made the trip to Montgomery with them on Friday, April 22 for a best-of-three series with Lee-Montgomery.

The Panthers totaled 21 hits and 24 runs to pick up dominant shutout wins of 14-0 and 10-0 to complete a first-round sweep and advance to the second round of the postseason.

Pelham quickly built confidence in the series, scoring at least three runs in each of the first four innings of game one to take a 14-0 advantage that Lee never could overcome.

A big reason for that was the pitching of Christian Pritchett. While the offense had a remarkable showing, Pritchett kept Lee from having a chance thanks to a complete-game shutout featuring seven strikeouts.

He gave up four hits and no walks to help the Panthers pick up the 10-run rule win in five innings.

At the plate, Pelham had four extra base hits and a home run in the win. Zach Egan and JD Wilkins both finished with three hits in the win, while Egan totaled three RBIs.

Pritchett also totaled three RBIs on one hit, while Josh Calvert finished with two RBIs on one hit. Makei Griffin finished the game with a solo home run for the Panthers, while Cody Bethers, Logan Green, Durbin Stewart and Clayton Mains all had one hit.

Game two was slightly slower-paced for Pelham, but no less dominant.

The Panthers got another stellar performance on the mound, as Egan nearly finished with a perfect game.

He gave up one hit and the Panthers had one error in five innings, but Egan allowed no walks or runs and struck out five in a second consecutive complete-game shutout for Pelham.

The Panthers capitalized on that by pulling away offensively in each inning of the game.

After scoring one run in the opening inning, Wilkins blasted a three-run home run in the second to help the Panthers put up four more and take a 5-0 advantage.

From there, they tacked on three more in the seventh for an 8-0 lead, before then posting one in the fourth and one in the fifth to cap off the victory.

Wilkins finished with the lone hit and four RBIs to lead the way for Pelham, while Mains added two RBIs on one hit. Jake Fox and Griffin both finished with one hit and one RBI each, while Bethers, Pritchett, Green and Calvert all had one hit.

Pelham will now take on either Northridge or Saraland in the second round of the playoffs on April 29 with the possibility of returning home.