Raiders erase big deficit to defeat Amite in league opener

Published 2:35 pm Friday, March 22, 2019

Pine trailed 7-1 through 4-1/2 innings and 8-3 after 5-1/2, but the Raiders scored 15 runs in the sixth inning — highlighted by Will Adams’ inside-the-park grand slam — in an 18-8 District 9-2A opening victory over Amite at home Tuesday.
Pine struggled against Amite starter Amani Gilmore, who left the mound with his team leading 7-1 and Pine having the bases loaded with two outs. Two of the runners scored and the Raiders did a good job of taking advantage of a bullpen and defense that both struggled.
“We had trouble early,” Pine coach Blake Dillon said. “They had a good pitcher on the mound. He was throwing high 80s. We haven’t seen that very much over the few years and we were having trouble putting the bat on the ball and getting runners on base. The score is not really indicative of how this game really went. We were down early. We weren’t able to do much at the plate or on the bases, but when we were able to get to their bullpen, we really started being able to put the ball in play and taking advantage of their mistakes.
“But that’s something that we preach all the time. We want to get the starters off the mound. We want to get to the bullpen and see what we can do in the later parts of the game.”
Gilmore did not allow a hit. He gave up three runs (one earned) with six strikeouts, four walks and a hit batter over 4-2/3 innings.
Pine trailed 7-1 when Gilmore left and posted a pair of runs by the end of the frame to make it 7-3.
Amite added one more in the top of the sixth for an 8-3 lead.
That’s when Pine had an inning the players, coaches and fans won’t soon forget.
The Raiders put up 15 runs in the frame, and despite being down five going into the sixth, they came out of the inning by forcing the 10-run mercy rule.
Will Adams began the inning with single to left. He reached second on an error from a back pick by the catcher and reached third on a throwing error after they tried to get him out at second on the same play. After a strikeout, Zack Lemaire belted an RBI triple to the left centerfield gap, plating Adams to cut the lead in half at 8-4.
But that was just the beginning.
Ian Turner walked. Dallen Magee reached on an RBI fielder’s choice error to plate courtesy runner Karson Voth and the Raiders were within three. Kendall Sheridan got his team closer with an RBI single, sending Turner home. Kaden Fersch drew a walk to load the bases and Coby Sheridan coaxed an RBI walk to send Magee home and place the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position, as it was 8-7. Luke Fonda put down a sacrifice bunt that scored Kendall Sheridan with the tying run to make it 8-8, but Fonda was able to elude the tag and reach first.
At this point, the game was tied 8-8 and Pine still had the bases loaded with one out.
That set the stage for Adams, who was the 10th hitter of the inning, and he came through in the clutch.
Adams cleared the bases when he pulled a pitch down the left field line. The ball rolled to the fence. Everybody kept running and Adams was waved home. He was safe at the plate. It was an inside-the-park grand slam and the Raiders had the lead, 12-8.
“It was just a fastball right down the middle. I turned on it like I should, pulled it down the line and took off running,” Adams said. “From all I know is, they threw their hands up, acting like it was out of play or under the fence. It never did and I kept running, waiting to see if the umpires would tell me something. They didn’t tell me to go back, so I just kept on going.”
After the second out, Lemaire restarted the rally with a single. Turner and Magee continued it with consecutive walks. Kendall Sheridan reached on a dropped pop up to the shortstop. Voth and Turner scored to put Pine up 14-8. Fersch walked to fill the bases. Coby Sheridan picked up an RBI on a hit by pitch that sent Magee home.
Fersch scored on a wild pitch during Fonda’s at-bat for a 17-8 lead. Fonda walked to reload the bases. Adams came up for the third time in the inning. He was the 19th Raider to come up to the plate in the inning. During his at-bat, Coby Sheridan scored on a wild pitch to end the game.
Kendall Sheridan had two hits, two runs and three RBIs.
Fersch posted had a hit, an RBI and two runs scored.
Coby Sheridan drove in three and tallied twice.
Fonda a run batted and a run scored.
Adams had a pair of hits, including the grand slam, two runs scored and four RBIs.
Bryce Kelly scored a run.
Lemaire posted two hits, including a triple, an RBI and a run scored.
Voth scored three runs.
Turner walked three times and scored every time.
Magee walked and scored.
For Amite, Cam Henderson had a hit and two runs scored.
Gilmore and Adrian Davis scored a run each.
Dakota Cox and David Selders each singled, doubled and drove in two runs.
On Thursday, Pine fell to Doyle, 7-4.
Fersch doubled, drove in two runs and scored a run.
Logan Temples singled and scored a run.
Turner singled.
Cory Barber and Voth scored a run each.
Pine trailed 3-0 through the first inning. The Raiders tied the game in the third inning.
Doyle put up a pair of runs in the fourth to make it 5-3.
Pine pulled within one with a run in the fifth, but Doyle tallied singled runs in the sixth and seventh inning for the 7-4 final.
The Raiders played again following Friday’s press time.

Pine’s Zack Lemaire puts down a squeeze bunt to plate Karson Voth with the game’s first run in Tuesday’s District 9-2A opener at home.