By Kedrick Storey
PINE GROVE – Talk about a hit parade.
Friday, the Smithville Seminoles started Game 2 of their Class 1A quarterfinal series with the Pine Grove Panthers with back-to-back doubles. When the dust cleared, the Seminoles had collected 19 hits in a 15-0 victory that swept the best-of-three series.
The Seminoles won Game 1 on Thursday 10-0 with eight hits. Smithville coach Steve Kerr was much more pleased with the stats in Game 2.
“We were not really happy at how we hit the ball in Game 1,” said Kerr. “We had a little talk about getting back focused on trying to do things right, seeing the ball and not trying to get long with it and kill it. We started off hitting and hitting is contagious.”
Smithville started with four runs of four hits in the top of the first. It added a pair of runs on RBIs by Tyler Hood and Blake Comer in the second for a 6-0 advantage. They kept it up in the third as they sent 11 batters to the plate, belting six hits for eight runs, including a two-run home run by junior Cole Williams for a 14-0 lead.
They had six players with two or more hits, with Williams (4-for-4) leading the way. Hood, a senior, also had a four-hit day and scored three runs. He said the Seminoles have to stay focused as they’ll attempt to get past the North semifinals, a place they have faltered for the last two seasons.
They get Myrtle, which took a pair of games from Falkner.
“We’ve got the talent, the hard work and the dedication to do it. We just have to stay focused,” Hood said.
Pine Grove (16-14) managed just three hits against Smithville starter Drew Lann. Panthers coach Will Wallis said it was a tough ending for a team that’s relearning how to win again. Their 16 wins this season were 10 more than the last two seasons combined.
“I hate to go out like this but they’re a baseball tradition and we’re a rebuilding team. It is what it is,” said Wallis.