By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News
HOMEWOOD — Homewood pitcher Brian Browning threw a no-hitter, but still almost managed to lose the game.
Pinson Valley tied things at 2-2 in the top of the seventh inning, as a throwing error on an infield fly allowed two Indian runners to score. But catcher Luke Porter bailed Browning and the Patriots out, as they won 3-2 on Thursday.
Browning had been in top form the whole way, striking out 11 Pinson batters while allowing only three baserunners through six innings on two walks, a hit batsman and an error. But things went awry for the Pats in the seventh, when the Indians put two runners aboard with a walk and another hit batsman. On an attempt to get the runner out at second, the throw went into left field, and both runners made it home.
"[Browning] had good velocity and some good off-speed pitches, and we just did not do enough at the plate to compete," first-year Pinson coach Shane Chappell said. "We've go to play complete games, and we haven't done that yet."
Brad Eckmyre scattered five hits and struck out four for the Indians (5-4), He was pulled with two outs in the seventh; reliever Wyatt Burns gave up the winning run.
Richard Smalley hit a double and scored in the second for Homewood (8-0).