By Jerob Moon- Sports Information
ROCK HILL- The Piedmont Pride (19-6) defeated the Carolina Vipers (18-13) 10-5, in a come-from-behind win, Monday night at Rock Hill High School. The Vipers jumped out to a 5-2 lead early in the game, but the Pride scored eight runs in the final three innings to win and keep control of the second place in the SCBL standings.
“It was a really big win for us,” commented Coach Joe Hudak. “When you look at the standings, we’re in second place, and they are in third. With all the rainouts, who knows what the standings are going to be like. It’s very important to finish first or second, because you get that first round bye in the playoffs.”
Outfielder Brian Wood started the comeback in the sixth with an RBI single, then Roury Glanton hit his league-leading tenth homerun, to start the seventh. Kitt Capell, for the second straight game, stepped up in a clutch pinch-hit moment. In the seventh, Capell hit a two-run double to that scoring runners from second and third to give the Pride their first lead (6-5) since the second inning.
The Pride would add four more runs in the eight and gave reliever Tristan Helms more than enough run support as he closed out the game and earned his second win of the season. This was the Pride’s sixth comeback win, something Coach Hudak is pleased with. “We’ve shown over and over again that we can be down, but we’re never done until the other team gets the 27th out.”
The bullpen stopped the Viper’s momentum, which allowed the Pride to get back in the game. Helms was dominant after entering the game midway through the sixth. He only allowed two hits in the final 2.2 innings of the game, paving the way for the batters to take the lead back.
“Tristan came in and we got three scoreless innings,” Coach Hudak said. “I think him putting up a goose egg and us getting one run back was big, then he put up another goose egg, and we came back and scored a few. We stopped their momentum and got back in the game, and a big key to that was Tristan coming in and throwing well.”
The Pride now turn their attention to Wednesday's game against the first place SBA Bones (22-6) on Wednesday. With the All-Star weekend approaching, it’s vital that the team finish strong in their last two weekday games against the Bones and Concord Athletics.
On Tuesday, the SCBL All-Star team will be announced and the Pride look to have multiple guys on the team this year, just as they have in previous seasons. Last summer the Pride had eight players named to the team.
The Southern Collegiate Prospect Showcase will be held at the Kannapolis Intimidators stadium from July 14-16. Five leagues, including the SCBL, from across the southeastern seaboard will face each other in a round-robin style tournament to see which league has the best all-star team.