By Scotty Rouse
Coach Joe Hudak and the Piedmont Pride rode into today’s game on a two game winning streak as they took on the SBA Bones. The Pride was cruising with a record of 8-2, while the Bones were coming in with a record of 7-3. A win for the Bones would mean a tie for the lead of the division with the Pride. The Pride was looking to extend its lead to three games behind the arm of pitcher Connor Pate. Meanwhile, the Bones were putting the game in the hands of their starting pitcher Gage Hinson. There was a lot riding on this game, and both teams were out to get a win at Winthrop Ballpark.
The first two innings of the game were scoreless as both teams were playing tight defense in the field. The Bones struck first in the third inning when they managed to drive in to make it 1-0 in the top of the 3rd inning. The Pride struck ride back in the bottom of the third inning though, manufacturing three runs to make the score 3-1. Hudak was especially pleased with Trey Logan’s at bat in the inning. With the game tied at 1, and runners on second and third, Logan hit a ground ball to the second baseman that not only scored Bailey Montoya, but also moved Jonathan Embry to third. Embry then scored on a sacrifice fly by Sam Sustersic. “That was a great at bat by Trey that doesn’t show up in the box score, but was key to winning the game”, the Pride skipper explained.
The Bones started turning on the bats in the 5th inning when they scored four runs in the top half making the score 5-3 in favor of the Bones. The Pride came right back the bottom half of the 5th inning. Mike Morgan was the first to start things off for the Pride in the inning as he roped a single to left get things started for the Pride. Bailey Montoya kept the inning going with a single of his own eventually advancing to 2nd and Morgan stopping on 3rd. Morgan advanced to home on a balk committed by the pitcher and Montoya went to third. Jonathon Embry then singled to right, driving home Montoya to tie the game 5-5. After a scoreless sixth for the Bones, Chandler Redmond led off in the bottom of the inning with a towering homer over the right field wall that gave the Pride a 6-5. The seventh inning was highlighted with some incredible defense by the Pride. Zach Shank came in to play third base for the Pride and turned an amazing 5-4-3 double play. Coach Hudak later commented on the play after the game saying “That was probably the key play of the whole game. It was one of the best double plays you are ever going to see and it probably saved us the ball game.” The game was eventually called on a lightning and rain delay as the Pride took the game 6-5 in seven innings.
The Pride took their record to 9-2 overall while the Bones fall to a record of 7-4. The winning pitcher of the game was Connor Pate as he moves to 2-0 on the season, while Eric Markwat was handed the loss as he moves to 1-1. On Friday, the Pride returns to Winthrop to face the Lake Norman Copperheads in a double-header starting at 5P.M.