By Melissa Meador/Monroe Journal
AMORY – The way the first two games went, anything less than a dramatic finish would have been unexpected between Amory and Houston in their 4A baseball playoff series.
Game 3 didn’t disappoint. Houston held off a seventh-inning comeback from the Panthers to win 2-1. They move on to face Lewisburg on Friday.
“We knew this series would be like that,” Houston coach Scott Gann said. “This should have been the North half series right here. That’s a great team and great program right there.”
Houston took a 1-0 advantage in the third inning and never gave up the lead. Denver McQuary led off the inning with a walk and moved to third on a Peyton Callahan double. Reid Carter’s double sent him home before the Panthers got a strikeout and one of their three double plays on to get out of the jam.
The Hilltoppers (24-5-1) added an insurance run in the seventh off an RBI single from Kyle Wilson.
Amory (24-7) had its opportunities. In the second, Jon David Poss led off with a double but was stranded when Austin Burdine (3-1) struck out the side.
Jake Childers led off the fifth, reaching second on a two-base error and was bunted to third by Devan Hurley, but was caught trying to steal home.
Hayden Williams’ single to left started the Panthers’ seventh-inning rally. Poss followed him up with a sharp liner to center that was caught by Sharone Wright, but Childers reached on an error for the second time to move him to third. Hurley’s sacrifice fly drove in Williams, but a groundout from Drake Wallace ended the game.
Game 1 winner Tanner Poole (6-4) took the loss.
“Ithought Tanner did a good job, and they just took advantage of some of our mistakes,” Amory coach Chad Williams said. “We just waited too late to get the bats going.”