By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent
Southside staged a late rally in the bottom of the seventh inning to notch a 7-6 victory over Hokes Bluff in the semi-final round of the Etowah County Schools baseball tournament on Tuesday (Apr. 16) in Sardis City.
The Panthers (24-10) scored five runs over the final three innings to secure the win and earn the right to meet Sardis in the championship game later that day.
Trailing 6-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Southside added two runs to set up the Panthers heroics in the seventh.
Following one-out base hits by Cody Pylant and Brock Love and walk by Braxton Light, Conner Paulson singled off of Eagle reliever Tanner Shields to leftfield, driving in Pylant and Love for the win.
Paulson and Andrew Fuhrman scored the game’s first runs in the bottom of the third on a two run double by Hunter Clough.
Hokes Bluff, however, exploded for five runs in the top of the fourth to take a 5-2 lead.
Chase Beggs’ leadoff single and a walk by Braydon Hawk set up Dylan McKee’s RBI single for a 2-2 tie.
Chance Ford then singled and Jake Ponder walked. McKee scored on a wild pitch and Stephen McDonald singled in a pair of runs to give the Eagles a 5-2 lead.
Southside and Hokes Bluff each added a single run in the fifth inning.
For the Panthers, Fuhrman went 2-for-3, while Clough, Love and Paulson each went 2-for-4.
Jake Ponder went 2-for-2 for the Eagles.