Cardinals beat Wolverines in dramatic fashion

Published 8:41 am Tuesday, April 15, 2008

There was good pitching, good hitting, good fielding and a walk-off homerun in Landrum&squo;s 7-4 win.

Landrum struck first in the first inning. Leadoff hitter Adam Pitts was hit by a Tanner Yarboro pitch. Two batters later senior leftfielder Zeke Rollins doubled to bring Pitts home.

But Polk took the lead to innings later. The hot-hitting J.P. Ruth led off the third inning with a single for the Wolverines. Two batters later, Brandon Jolley doubled to bring Ruth home. Later in the inning, freshman Lucas Cash drove in Jolley with a single.

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After a silent fourth inning, the Cardinals rallied again in the fifth inning.

Pitts walked to start the inning.&bsp; Dustin Morris followed with a double, driving in Pitts. Rollins walked. Rollins and Morris&bsp; eventually crossed&bsp; homeplate on errors.

Down 4-2, Polk didn&squo;t fold. Yarboro led off the top of the sixth inning with a single. Justus Burnett followed with a single. Kamron Kerr followed Burnett with a bases-clearing double to tie the game up.

Brandon Jolley, in for relief, kept the Cardinals at bay in the bottom of the sixth inning.

And then in the seventh inning, the drama took over.

Wolverine thirdbaseman Chris Montgomery reached on an error to lead off the seventh inning. After a flyout by Ethan Edwards, Yarboro came up to the plate.

On a 1-1 count, Yarboro hit a sinking line drive into centerfield. Cardinal centerfielder Daniel Jackson made a diving catch and then threw the ball into second base to double up Yarboro and Montgomery. The catch was questioned by coaches on the field and fans in the stands, but the umpire&squo;s call stood.

The Cardinals came up to bat in the bottom of the seventh fired up. Morris doubled to start the inning. The Wolverines then intentionally walked Rollins.

Then on a 1-0 count, Cardinal thirdbaseman Alex Wilson hit a fastball over the leftfield fence to win the game for the Cardinals.

&dquo;I thought it was foul at first,&dquo; Wilson said. &dquo;The Lord blessed me to keep that one in the park.&dquo;

For the Wolverines, the leadoff hitter was the problem throughout the game, head coach Ty Stott said.

In six of the seven innings, the Cardinals leadoff hitter reached base.

&dquo;We didn&squo;t get the leadoff man a lot today,&dquo; Stott said. &dquo;We could&squo;ve adjusted a little earlier.

For Henson, he wanted to use this game as an intensity game that the Cardinals will see down the road.

&dquo;We were playing like it was a playoff game today,&dquo; Henson said. &dquo;It was a big win for us, not just to beat our rivals, but to beat them when they have such a great team this year.&dquo;

For Stott, it was also a chance to gauge his team in certain situations they wouldn&squo;t necessarily be in during a conference game.

&dquo;If you&squo;re gonna learn from losses, it&squo;s better that they&squo;re nonconference games.&dquo;

The Cardinals are 11-7 overall and 5-1 in conference play. They&squo;ll play Greenville Tech Charter on Tuesday at 6 p.m. A win over the Warriors will make the game on the road at Southside Christian on Saturday at 7 p.m. the deciding game for the region championship.

The Wolverines are 11-4 overall and 8-1 in conference play. They play at East Henderson Monday at 6 p.m. and will close out the season with Mtn. Heritage this Friday, Owen next Friday and Hendersonville the following Tuesday.