Andrew Miller, Correspondent (@ on Twitter)
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Godby used two extra innings to defeat the Sneads Pirates 6-5 on Thursday night. The Cougars were able to capitalize on the Pirates’ errors to rally back on senior night after falling behind several runs early due to poor pitching.
Sneads got into a groove against a shaky-looking Godby squad early in the game. Senior pitcher Bryan Hamilton was hitting his spots for the Pirates in the first couple of innings, making it tough for the Cougars to get any offense going.
In the top of the second, sophomore Dylan Driggers doubled to bring a man home, giving the Pirates a 1-0 lead. A few batters later, senior Kade Chattwood singled to left field to bring another across for the away team.
After a walk, Godby (8-18) finally got on the board in the bottom of the second with a double to right from junior Brandon Barrentine. Then, junior Brantley Yount got a two-out single to left to tie the score at 2-2. In the top of the fifth, junior Michael Weeks drove home Jalen Kenner with a single to left field, giving Sneads (13-11) a 3-2 lead. Godby quickly answered, however, as senior Saxton Hall singled for the tying run.
The top of the seventh proved to be a productive inning for the Pirates. At this point in the game, Godby’s starting pitcher Tristan Anderson really seemed to tire. Whereas the pitches in the first few innings were crisp and controlled, he struggled with location as the game spanned on. Sneads was able to make him pay, and eventually they were forced to call in some relief (they switched Driggers over to pitcher), but not before Godby found themselves in a 5-2 hole.
“You have to credit the other team for good pitching in the first innings. We didn’t do a very good job of playing the plate there early, leading to unnecessary strikes,” Godby coach Jayson Strickland said.
Then, it went south for Sneads. After two walks and a single loaded the bases for Godby, Driggers walked a man to force a runner home. This cut the lead to 5-3. Then, a wild pitch brought Hall home to make it 5-4. The next pitch, senior Matt Spears was hit by a high fastball, notching the score at 5-5 to the visiting crowd’s dismay. Godby was in prime position to walk-off in regulation on senior night, but Driggers was able to recompose himself and get out of the inning.
In extras, Sneads really struggled on offense, looking like a different team than what took the field in the first few innings. As the momentum built up for Godby, the floodgates finally unleashed in the bottom of the ninth when Barrentine hit a walk-off single to bring a runner home from third and win the game for Godby on senior night.
“It felt good to be able to help my team win. I love these guys, especially the seniors, and it’s been an incredible season,” Barrentine said.
Godby takes on Rickards in the first round of districts in Marianna on Tuesday night.