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Tigers' winning ways come to an end against Phoenix

 

Everything seemed to be going the Adairsville High baseball team's way entering Thursday's road region game against Sonoraville.

The Tigers were winners of six of their last seven and jumped from outside the playoff picture into second place in the region, controlling their own destiny in their bid to secure a home playoff series.

However, Adairsville got knocked back down to earth a bit Thursday, as a back-and-forth game with no shortage of offense resulted in the Tigers falling by a 13-12 score to a region rival.

The two teams traded multi-run innings all game, with Adairsville scoring two runs in the first, and Sonoraville countering with two of its own in the bottom of the inning. After Adairsville scored three in its half of the second, Sonoraville responded with two.

The tables turned on the Tigers in the third, though, when they failed to score in their turn at the plate, and Sonoraville scored five to take a 9-5 lead.

Adairsville would never draw back even with the Phoenix, and errors were partly to blame, especially in the first three innings. One error in each frame allowed six unearned runs to score. Caden Gibbs was the Adairsville pitcher who took the tough luck, as he started and went four ineffective innings, allowing 10 runs, just four earned, on 12 hits with three walks and one strikeout.

It was two errors that put ducks on the pond for Hunter Hice's two-run double in the first. Corey Nation and Gibbs both doubled in the second inning for Adairsville.

The Tigers were able to cut into Sonoraville's lead in the fourth with three runs to make the score 9-8. Consecutive doubles by B.J. Roper and Nation led off the inning and scored one run. Nation would then come around to score on Kyler Pelfrey's single. Pelfrey later scored himself on Gibbs' single.

But just like Sonoraville did all game, the Phoenix responded to Adairsville's rally with runs of their own. They scored one on a home run in the fourth and two in the fifth to extend their lead to 12-8.

Adairsville did enough at the plate to come back, scoring two in the sixth on an error, a Gibbs single and a couple of passed balls, and two more in the seventh on Pelfrey's two-run single.

However, as it had all game, the Tiger's pitching let them down in the bottom of the sixth with Sonoraville's second home run of the game. 

That homer would prove to be the game-winner, as the Tigers drop to 17-8 on the year and 10-5 in Region 6-AAA. 

Nation went 2-for-4 in the game with two doubles, three runs scored, a walk and an RBI; Gibbs went 3-for-5 with a double, three RBIs and a run scored; Pelfrey went 2-for-3 with three RBIs, a run scored and a walk; and Roper went 2-for-3 with three runs scored, a walk and a double.

Adairsville is still in third place in the region, but its hold on one of the four playoff spots is tenuous, with Calhoun and Haralson County sitting just a half-game back. Adairsville is 3-0 against those two teams, though, giving the Tigers the edge in tiebreakers.

Adairsville will face Bremen and Calhoun, the Nos. 2 and 4 teams in the region standings, next week, before finishing the regular season with Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe.

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