By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News
CORNER — There’s an old saying in high school baseball: You can never have enough runs.
After Corner posted what seemed to be a comfortable 10-4 lead going into the bottom of the sixth inning, visiting Jemison scored seven runs with a barrage of singles to take a one-run lead.
That advantage held up, and the Panthers pulled off their second comeback win of the day to sweep the Yellow Jackets in their first-round doubleheader of the Class 4A playoffs, on scores of 6-5 and 11-10.
In both games, it was a classic case of hitting ‘em where they ain’t, as Jemison’s hits eiher found the gaps in the infield or looped just over their heads and short of the Corner outfielders.
“It was a case of timely hits and a few errors on our part,” a frustrated Jackets coach Josh Hoyle said afterward. “Queen Momentum is a crazy, crazy thing, especially in this sport. She kind of turned on us there at the end, we lost our edge, they made the plays and we didn’t.”
In the opening game, Jemison took the lead in the top of the seventh on a Logan Ray sacrifice fly, after a passed ball and a single moved Cade Hatch from first to third. Austin Broadhead’s base hit then scored Daniel Enslinger for what proved to be a necessary insurance run.
Corner got one run back when Cody Gilbert scored on an overthrow as Kerry Smith stole second, but Blake Byrd’s subsequent grounder to second ended the game.
Broadhead was 2-for-4 with two RBIs for Jemison, while Smith led Corner’s hitting by also going 2-for-4 with a lone run batted in.
Banks Woodley picked up the win in relief, with two hits and one run over two innings. Dillon McCaleb was tagged with the loss after 1-2/3 innings of relief work.
In the nightcap, the Jackets’ six-run rally in the third came about from timely hitting and a bevy of Panther defensive miscues. Two runs scored on wild pitches, two more came home when Gilbert reached on an error, and Smith smacked a two-run double.
Three more runs in the sixth, including a Byrd triple, appeared to give the home team all the breathing room they would need to set up a third game on Saturday, but that was not the case.
Four different Panthers had two hits each. Ray, Corbin Brice and Matt Murphy each drove home two runs for the visitors.
Byrd was 2-for-4, and Smith had two RBIs for the hosts.
Josh Walker, who came to the mound to start the seventh inning, got the loss.
Corner finishes its first season under Hoyle with a 23-15 record.