If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
By: Corey Stott
MEMPHIS, Mo.- 3/28/23- After dropping the season opener to Schuyler County on a cold, bitter Monday night, the Tiger baseball team was back in action the following night for their home opener against the visiting Atlanta Hornets. The Tigers got in the hole early in this game, but battled back to win in walk-of fashion 10-9 in a most unlikely fashion.
Owen Triplett was the starting hurler for the Tigers and he seemed to be off to a great start in the top of the first. He got a lead-off strikeout followed by a pop out to third. Landon Gilliland touched him up for a line drive single to right, but it was the clean-up hitter, Prestyn Peavler, that did the damage in the first. Peavler drilled a full-count fast ball over the fence in dead away center field to give the Hornets a 2-0 early lead.
The Tigers answered in the bottom of the first. With one away, Elias Hatfield drew a walk and Ian Wilson reached on a single. That set the table for Vince Dale, who smacked a solid double to plate Hatfield and trim the Hornet lead to 2-1 after one inning.
Four singles, an error and a walk led to four Atlanta runs in the top of the second. The Hornets led 6-1 and suddenly the Tigers were in trouble early.
The Tigers got back on the board in the bottom of the fourth. Payton Frederick led off with a double and later scored on a Riley Small hard grounder to third base. The Hornets still led after four innings 6-2.
Every time the Tigers got close, Atlanta seemed to yank the rug out from under them. The top of the sixth was no different. Two walks, two Tiger errors and a Hornet single all contributed to a three run top of the frame for Atlanta. They led 9-2 mid sixth.
Head coach Rod Sears has pointed out that his team, at least early in this season, seems to be a better come from behind team. The Tigers lived up to that billing and began to claw their way back in to the game in the bottom of the sixth. An Owen Brown single to left followed by two Tiger walks and a Hornet error led to Brown scoring.
Another walk and an Ian Wilson double scored Tayte Richmond and Triplett. The Tigers were within four runs, but they weren’t done in the inning yet. The two-out rally continued with another pair of walks followed by perhaps the most audacious steal of home plate by Wilson. He took his lead as the pitcher got his sign, then took off for home as the pitcher went into is stretch. He slid safely under the attempted tag of a very shocked Morgan Rhodes who was catching for the Hornets. The Hornet lead was narrowed to 9-7.
After holding Atlanta scoreless in the top of the seventh, the Tigers had one more chance to stay alive. Logan Buford reached on a one-out error. That was followed by a Richmond walk and a Triplett single to left. That set up an RBI ground out by Hatfield that scored courtesy runner Evan Arnold. That made the score 9-8 Atlanta with two outs.
With Richmond standing on third and Triplett at second, Wilson came to the plate. On a 2-0 count, he connected solidly on a ball that launched to right field. It seemed to be a routine can of corn for right fielder Emery Mason that would end the game with the Tigers falling a run short. But fate had other ideas, and Mason misjudged the ball. As the ball deflected off the side of his glove, the tying and winning runs both crossed the plate. The Tigers walked off with the win off the Mason error with a 10-9 non-conference victory.
Triplett worked the first five innings of the game facing 23 batters. He struck out 10 and walked two. He allowed six hits and six runs, three of which were earned. Richmond worked the final two innings in relief.
Gilliland started for the Hornets and went four innings against 19 batters. He struck out eight and walked one, allowing two runs, both earned, on six hits. Grady Hruska worked 1 2/3 innings, Logan Gladhill worked 2/3 innings and Peavler faced the final three batters.