Cardinals pull out victory over Dixie on baseball diamond

Published 4:46 pm Monday, April 30, 2012

Landrum’s T.J. Fincher squares up to hit a pitch on Friday night. The Cardinals beat Dixie in the bottom of the seventh inning 11-10. (photo by Joey Millwood)

Landrum’s playoff matchup with Dixie on Friday night turned into a roller coaster ride.
First pitch was at 5 p.m., but the game didn’t end until 3 hours and 32 minutes later. Dixie jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, but after five batters, Landrum’s athletic trainer Doc Baker sounded the air horn.
The horn meant lightning was close enough to the baseball field that everyone had to exit and sit in their cars. After a 30-minute delay, the game resumed and the Cardinals experienced peaks and valleys that left head coach Ray McCallister almost speechless after the game.
The Cardinals (11-10) pulled an 11-10 victory in the bottom of the seventh.
The Hornets scored two runs in the top of the seventh and things looked bleak for the Cardinals. Landrum was down 10-8 and only one base runner had reached base in the fifth and sixth innings. Gavin Bishop started the inning with a single. He was thrown out at second base on a fielder’s choice by Connor Noland. Trevor Walker put the ball in play on the next at-bat and Dixie pitcher Drew Pearman’s throw sailed over the head of first baseman Jordan James. With the ball deep in right field, Noland scored from first base and Walker reached third base. Jon Humphries followed with a single and T.J. Fincher walked. Pearman got the winning pitcher Kaleb Kuykendall to pop up to shortstop.
Gus Wofford sent the next pitch thrown by Pearman deep into right-centerfield for a walk-off double.
“It was big,” the senior first baseman, Wofford, said. “I was at the plate thinking about getting runs in for my team.”
McCallister said he was proud of his team and its ability to not give up.
“It was all created by hustling,” he said. The seventh-inning heroics were a fitting end to a game that was filled with ups and downs for the Cardinals.
“It was ugly, but it was exciting,” he said. “Right now, it doesn’t matter how you win, you just got to keep playing.”

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