Pelham walks off against Chilton County as Panthers honor 2004 title team

Published 4:57 pm Monday, March 18, 2024

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

PELHAM – On a night when the Pelham Panthers honored the success of the past, they found some magic of their own.

Pelham defeated the Chilton County Tigers 8-7 on Friday, March 15 at Pelham High School behind a walk-off home run by Andrew Petrock.

Before the game, the Panthers held a 20-year reunion for their 2004 state championship team as they recognized players and coaches from the season.

Pelham kicked off the scoring in the bottom of the first after a Petrock single and Sam Tolbert walk put two on and two out for Brock Isbell. The senior hit an RBI single to center and put his team up 2-0.

However, four straight batters reached base for the Tigers in the top of the second, capped off by a pair of runs off an RBI single to tie the game up at 2-2.

Smart baserunning by Petrock put him on third with two outs for Isbell who hit another RBI single to put the Panthers up 3-2.

Pelham then capitalized off a bases-loaded hit by pitch and walk to score another pair of runs and go up 5-2.

Chilton County then cut the deficit to one run in the fifth off an RBI triple and a fly out to make the score 5-4.

Pelham earned two outs on the next two batters, but a single put the Tigers back in business. Another RBI triple and a wild pitch gave Chilton County a 6-5 lead.

The Tigers extended that lead to two in the top of the sixth with an RBI double.

Dylan Smith put the Panthers back within one run on the final at-bat of the sixth, and Pelham earned a pair of strikeouts to end the top of the seventh and give itself a chance to win the game.

Ryan Funderburk reached base on an error to start the bottom of the seventh, but a sacrifice bunt and a strikeout reduced the Panthers to their final out.

Petrock worked a 2-0 count and hit a fly ball to left that went over the wall for a home run, scoring both runs and giving Pelham the 8-7 walkoff win.

Petrock ended the day 3-4 with a home run, three runs and three RBIs. Isbell went 2-4 with three RBIs.

Tolbert walked away with the win after taking four strikeouts over two innings, allowing just two hits and no runs or walks.

Pelham will return to action on Wednesday, March 20 at 6:30 p.m. at Hillcrest.