On Tuesday, Perry Central made the trip to Pike County for their second matchup against Pike Central. The Hawks picked up a dramatic 10-9 victory, despite Perry’s late surge.
The first inning belonged to Pike Central. Pitcher DSean Pinkleton got the start for the Hawks and came out of the gate retiring three of his first five batters, two of which by strikeout, en route to holding Perry Central to no runs after their first at bat.
Perry Central pitcher David Elkins, got the nod for the Commodores and came out focused as he retired his first two batters, one by strikeout and another by groundout.
However Pike Central seized control of the game’s opening inning as the Hawks scored two runs in the bottom of the first. Pinkleton helped his own cause as he nailed a double, bringing in the Hawk’s John Potter for the game’s first run. Pinkleton would then be brought around the bases thanks to a Tanner Woods single, giving Pike Central the early 2-0 lead.
Perry Central started the second inning looking to answer as Brayden Cottongame singled to get things going for the Commodores, but Pike Central took advantage of a Dawson Kersey ground-ball, as second baseman Evan Coleman flipped the ball to to shortstop John Potter to begin a double-play.
Two outs wasn’t enough to stifle Perry Central as Zack Gayheart took advantage of Dustin Fields walk and single to give them two runners on. Both runners would advance a single base as Pike Central’s Pinkleton losses control of a pitch that goes by the catcher, causing the Commodores to have a two runners in scoring position. Ryan Crouch stepped to the plate where he proceeded to rip a hard ground ball that saw him reach first, while also scoring both runners after an error from Hawks’ first baseman Preston Kirk. Pinkleton then struck out Perry’s Trevor Spurlock to close the second inning leaving the score knotted at 2-2.
The two teams proceeded to exchange runs over the course of the next two innings with Pike Central scoring two runs in the third and Perry Central nipping at the Hawks’ lead after answering with a single run in the fourth. That exchange left the score at 4-3 with Pike Central on top with only three innings left to play.
The fifth inning began with the Hawks’ first baseman Kirk replacing Pinkleton on the mound. The move paid off immediately as Kirk would pop up Perry Central’s Elkins and then cause Mason McAlarnis to ground out to third, leaving the Commodores with only one out. Kirk went on to walk Perry’s Dawson Duff and then allow Duff to advance to second after he commits an error. The Commodores’ Cottongame would step to bat and deliver a much needed single that allowed Duff to advance, then later scored off a Kersey double that would also advance Duff to third.
Both runners later scored after a Pike Central error to give Perry Central their first lead of the game at 5-4. Perry’s two-out rally would come to a halt after Dustin Fields grounds out to Hawks’ shortstop Potter.
Perry Central pitcher Elkins began the bottom part of the fifth by walking Pike Central’s first two batters, but regained his composure by striking out the next two batters he saw. However, Pike Central was eager to start a two-out rally of their own and went on to explode for five runs giving them the 9-5 advantage.
Each team played stellar defense as neither was able to score a run in the sixth, leaving Perry Cental with only one inning to comeback from their deficit.
McAlarnis started things off for Perry Central as he would take first base after being hit by a pitch. Pike Central pitcher then answered with a strike out as the Hawks tried to close things out, but the Commodores had other thoughts as the next two batters would single respectively. Thanks to three straight errors from the Hawks and some timely hitting, Perry Central was able to complete their comeback bid and score four runs to tie the ball game up and appeared to be in prime position to take the lead before Hawks’ new pitcher Coleman was able to get the Commodores Spurlock to strike out before causing Elkins to line out on a laser to Pike Central’s shortstop.
Thanks to that burst of runs from Perry Central, things were yet again tied up with both teams having nine runs apiece. With Perry Central stealing the momentum, things appeared to be trending towards extra innings. However, Pike Central’s Keegan Bentley had other plans. After a Caden Coleman walk, Bentley stepped in the batter’s box and proceed to deliver a single into right field that would see Coleman score the game-winning run to give Pike Central the walk-off win in a nail biter.
This was the second match-up between the two schools this year, which saw the home team win each game. With the loss, Perry Central goes to 14-10 on the year and with Pike Central picking up the win, they move to 9-10.