By Jerob Moon- Sports Information
YORK- The Piedmont Pride started the playoffs in pursuit of their first SCBL Championship. After a first-round-bye, they faced the Carolina Vipers at home on Tuesday and took Game One 11-6. The Pride overcame a 5-1 deficit behind great pitching and great batting up and down the lineup. The Pride scored in every inning but the third, and their consistent scoring gave them a chance to get back in the game.
“You get down 5-1 after two innings, and you get a little worried, but then you know that the trademark of this club is that we never quit. The word that describes this team is ‘relentless’ – at the plate, inning after inning we are always a threat,” Coach Joe Hudak said.
The Vipers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first on a Tommy Bullock three-run homerun and scored two more in the second to take a 5-2 lead.
But the Pride came back and took the lead in the fifth with a five run inning. After the Vipers reliever, Austin Wynn, entered the game in the fifth, the Pride had six straight batters reach base. Josh Baker doubled, scoring a run and Roury Glanton’s RBI single highlighted the inning.
The Pride relievers changed the game and gave the team a chance at a comeback. Starter Enrique Perez only lasted one inning, but the relievers had his back. Tommy Guglielmello pitched four shutout innings and only allowed one hit and earned the win. Zach Shank took the mound in the sixth after starting the game at third base, and pitched three and two thirds innings and struck out eight. Tristan Helms got the last out of the game for the Pride as they take a 1-0 series lead.
Coach Hudak said his relievers were the key to the win. “I think the key to the game was Tommy Guglielmello. He came in and we were down 5-1 and he pitched four shutout innings. That gave us a chance to get back in the game, and it shut them down offensively. Zach Shank was great again for us in relief.”
Josh Baker had a great day at the plate, finishing 1-2 with four RBI’s, he hit two sac flies and was a key part of the comeback. Cody Littlejohn did well batting second in the lineup; he got on base and scored three runs.
The Pride look to close out the series on the road tomorrow at Charlotte Latin High School. If the Vipers win and force a third game, it will be back at York Comprehensive High School on Thursday. First pitch tomorrow is set for 7 pm.