Messenger file photo by Chris McCarthy
By Ron Balaskovitz/Sand Mountain Reporter
The Sardis High baseball team saw its season come to an end last Saturday (May 1), dropping a 12-6 decision to Hayden in the deciding third game of a Class 5A second round series.
The Lions (18-13-1) fell behind early and were unable to keep the host Wildcats off the board late during a rally attempt.
Hayden advances to the quarterfinal round to take on Madison Academy this past week.
The Wildcats opened the scoring with a run in the bottom of the first on a sacrifice fly, then opened the game up with five more runs in the bottom of the fifth to make it 6-0, with the big blow coming on a two-run triple.
But Sardis did not go quietly, putting up three runs on a single, a walk and a hit by pitch in the top of the fifth to trim the lead to 6-3. However, Hayden answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning to stretch the lead to 8-3.
The Lions scored three times in the top of the sixth to climb within 8-6, with Ty Glass, Brody Samples (pictured above) and Carson Gillilan driving in runs, but Sardis left the bases loaded on a strikeout following Gillilan’s RBI walk.
But Hayden responded with four runs in the bottom of the sixth to stretch the game to its final margin.
Samples. Blaze Gerhart, and Landon Carrol each had a pair of hits for Sardis, while Gillilan and Ty Glass each drove in a pair.
The teams split the first two games of the series on April 30. The Lions claimed the opener
behind strong pitching for a 5-2 win before Hayden kept its season alive with a 4-1 win in extra innings.
Gerhart shined on the hill in the opener, fanning 13 batters in a complete-game win, scattering just three hits while not conceding an earned run. Gerhart helped his cause in the sixth inning by belting a two-run home run to stretch the lead to 5-1.
Sardis opened the scoring in the top of the third with a pair of big hits. Carson Gillilan opened the scoring with an RBI single, followed by Sean Wright’s double that plated two runs for a 3-0 lead.
The nightcap was a pitcher’s duel, with each team giving up just one run through seven innings, forcing the game to extra innings after Hayden got its lone run during regulation in the top of the seventh.
Sardis opened the scoring in the first inning, with Gillilan notching an RBI double for an early 1-0 lead.
Brody Samples nearly made that lone run stand, pitching into the seventh inning while giving up two hits and fanning eight.
Hayden didn’t go quietly with its season on the line. The Wildcats tied the game in the seventh inning on a lead-off walk, a stolen base and an RBI single. Hayden kept the momentum going from that tying score in the top of the eighth, scoring three times to force a Game 3.