The Athens Review
Facing elimination after a Game 1 loss on Friday night, the Athens Hornets pulled out some magic in the final inning of Game 2 on Saturday to force a game three against the Crandall Pirates.
The Hornets won, 4-3, and then turned around and won, 13-10, for their first playoff series win since the 2007 regional quarterfinal season.
With the win, first year coach Dallas Robertson’s Hornets will play a best-of-three regional quarterfinal series against Texarkana Pleasant Grove Friday night at 7 p.m. at Northeast Texas Community College in Mount Pleasant.
The series will return to NE Texas Saturday for game two, with game three to follow if necessary. Game 2 is set to begin at 1 p.m.
Athens 13, Crandall 10
All three games went down to the seventh inning in the series and it sealed the deal in game three for the Hornets.
The Hornets scored four runs during a two out rally as Garrett Conley doubled, and Gabe Gross was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second.
Travis Takata then cleared the bases with a double and Adam Stallings walked. Kaleb Sifers then roped a single scoring Takata and Stallings came into score on the overthrow during the play.
Stallings went 3-for-3 with three runs scored for the Hornets, while Sifers went 2-for-2 with a run scored.
With the Hornets down, 3-1, going into the bottom of the seventh inning, Athens found the spark they needed at the bottom of the lineup.
Lance Funkhouser opened the inning with a single, followed by another single from Daniel Mossberger.
Pinch runner Alex Smith scored from second as Conley smacked a single to right field that brought him in for the 3-2 deficit.
After an intentional walk to Gabe Gross, Takata found the perfect pitch and smacked it over the third baseman’s head for the walk-off bases clearing single for the win.
A full recap of Saturday area games can be seen in Tuesday’s Athens Daily Review.