Central High School baseball traveled to Lewisburg Friday evening (March 15) for a road matchup against Marshall County. After watching the Tigers rally from a six-run deficit in the sixth to tie it, the Red Raiders brought it home in the eighth inning for a 7-6 victory.
"We put ourselves in some good situations and were able to scratch a few runs late in the game. The problem was that we got comfortable," coach David Martin said. "It's hard to win baseball games like that after you give up a six-run lead, but we challenged them in that last inning and they responded."
Friday's game was the first win for CHS this season, following back-to-back losses to district foe Columbia Central to kick things off.
"It shows that hard work pays off and that we are a good baseball team," Martin said. "I think its important for us to be playing our best baseball through the end of the season and I think we're gonna do that."
The Raiders got on the board first in the top of the third inning. With Hayden Skipper on third and Griffin Meeker on second, Skyler Bratcher grounded out to send Skipper home. CHS left Meeker on third base but took a 1-0 lead after three.
Later in the fifth, a pair of Marshall County mistakes expanded the Raider lead. With Skipper again on third and Meeker on second, Skipper ran home following a passed ball. Immediately after, Meeker scored on an error by Tiger pitcher Colton Barber to make it a 3-0 game.
CHS continued to expand its lead in the top of the sixth. With Meeker at the bat, a Tiger error sent Dylan Koon home and advanced Gage Edwards to third. On the same at-bat, Meeker hit a sacrifice bunt to send Edwards home. Another Marshall County error on the next at-bat gave Skipper his third scoring run to make it a 6-0 advantage for the Raiders.
The lead unraveled in the same inning. After advancing to third on a passed ball, Barber scored Marshall County's first run. Hunter Huarez added another Tiger run on the next at-bat following a Raider error.
Marshall County added four more runs coming with two outs to tie the game at six apiece. Following the tying run, reliever Zack Milan got the strikeout to stop the Tigers.
A scoreless seventh inning sent the game to extras. Leading off in the top of the eighth, Lane Spry hit a line drive to center field for a double.
"That was actually my first hit, leading off the last inning," Spry said. "But I had to hit the ball somewhere."
Spry advanced to third on the next at-bat after a sacrifice bunt by Edwards. Meeker followed with an RBI, sending Spry home for the go-ahead run and ultimately the game-winner.
Skipper finished the game with three hits and three runs to lead CHS in both categories. Spry and Bryson Hullett added one hit each for a total of five.
On the mound, Braden Brown and Milan both finished with four strikeouts each through the first seven innings. Meeker added two more in the eighth for 10 total.