Pelham capitalizes on opportunities in run-rule win over Shades Valley

Published 6:07 pm Tuesday, March 5, 2024

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

PELHAM – The Pelham Panthers were firing on all cylinders at the plate in their home matchup against the Shades Valley Mounties on Monday, March 4 as they plated 12 runs en route to a 12-2 win in five innings.

Clayton Mains kicked off the offense in the bottom of the first inning with a single, and two batters later and a stolen base later, Andrew Petrock doubled to right to bring home Mains home and take a 1-0 lead.

While Pelham got into a two-out hole, a hit by pitch and walk loaded the bases for Matthew Egan, who reached base on an error that scored Petrock to make the lead 2-0 after the first.

The Panthers loaded up the bases again in the bottom of the second to bring up Petrock, and his sacrifice fly brought Ryan Funderburk home and increased the lead.

After Dylan Smith walked in the next at-bat, Emerson Howatt singled to center to score another run, putting Pelham up 5-0 at the end of the second.

An Egan double and Lance Sulprizio bunt single started the home half of the third, and Funderburk brought both runners home on an RBI double.

The next batter Mains hit the first pitch he saw and legged out an inside-the-park home run to score both Funderburk and himself and make the lead 9-0.

The Mounties got on the board in the top of the fourth thanks to an RBI groundout, and in the next inning, Shades Valley stole home plate to cut the deficit to 9-2.

However, Pelham responded in a big way in the bottom half of the fifth to seal the win.

Petrock was hit by a pitch to start the inning, and after Smith singled to put another runner on, Petrock scored the 10th run of the afternoon.

On the first pitch of Ryan Hurd’s at-bat, the Mounties threw a wild pitch that allowed Ethan McInnis to score from third.

Shades Valley allowed another baserunner to reach on an error in Egan’s ensuing at-bat, and it walked Sulprizio with the bases loaded to end the game on the run-rule with the Panthers leading by 10.

Mains came up big throughout the day with a 3-3 afternoon, including an inside-the-park home run, three runs and two RBIs.

Hurd earned the win by pitching all five innings. He earned seven strikeouts against one earned run, two total runs, five hits and two walks.

Pelham will face Shades Valley once again on Wednesday, March 6, this time on the road at 5 p.m. to kick off three games in three days for the Panthers.