Sardis edges Ardmore in deciding third game

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By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor

Blaze Gerhart’s RBI double in the top of the sixth inning held up as the winning run in the deciding third game of Sardis’ Class 5A second round series against Ardmore last Saturday (Apr. 22).
The Lions (26-6) host Russellville on Friday, May 5, at 5 and 7:30 p.m. An if-necessary Game 3 will be held Saturday, May 6, at 1 p.m. The win was the 100th of head coach Kevin Vinson’s career.
Following Gerhart’s clutch hit, Sardis pitcher Andrew Felter shut the door on any sort of Ardmore rally. He retired the side in order in the bottom of the sixth, and after he put two baserunners on with two outs in the seventh, the Lions tagged out a Tiger attempting to steal third base.
Sardis jumped out to a 3-0 lead when Russ Wiggs and Carson Gillian scored off errors in the top of the first and Trey Thornton came home on Wiggs’ RBI groundout in the next inning.
That was not quite enough of a cushion for the Lions, however, as six straight runs by Ardmore left the Lions in a 6-3 hole.
But Sardis took advantage of some shaky Tiger pitching in the fourth when two walks and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases for Wiggs, who proceeded to walk in a run. That brought Luke Martin to the plate, who singled home Felter and Landon Carroll to tie the game at 6-6.
Sardis did not get off to a good start in the series, as Ardmore starter Zach Hall went the distance for a 6-3 victory on April 21. Hall gave up 12 hits, but the Lions left nine men on base. Hall allowed three runs and one walk with eight strikeouts.
Weems went six innings for Sardis, scattering seven hits, four earned runs and two walks while fanning 10. His RBI groundout in the top of the first gave Sardis a brief lead before Ardmore scored in the bottom of the inning. Noah Stafford’s two-run double and score off an error gave the hosts a 4-1 lead after two innings.
The Lions pulled within one run on Carroll’s sacrifice fly in the fourth and Gerhardt’s run-scoring base hit in the fifth, but that was the extent of the Sardis offense. Ardmore scored twice more for insurance, leaving Sardis in an 0-1 series deficit.
In Game 2, Sardis scored all five of its runs in the first two innings and benefited from on a solid pitching outing by Gerhart to post a 5-2 victory.
In a complete-game effort, Gerhart (pictured above) scattered 10 hits and three walks while fanning eight. After the Tigers scored three times in the top of the third, he allowed only five more baserunners, stranding two of them at third.
Gillian tripled in Martin to give the Lions the lead for good in the top of the first. After Gerhart struck out the side in the second, Thornton, Derek Tarvin and Wiggs came around to score in the bottom of the inning for a 5-0 advantage.
The Tigers scored twice in the third to draw within three runs, but Gerhart largely kept the Ardmore lineup in check the rest of the way.
For the series, Gillilan went 5-for-9 with a triple, three RBI and three runs scored; Gerhardt went 5-for-11 with two double and two RBI; Wiggs went 3-for-9 with a double, three RBI and a run scored and Trey Thornton went 3-for-10 with three runs scored.

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