Sneads baseball is headed to final four

Sneads Mac Danford celebrates after hitting a home run during Friday’s game against Holmes County. Sneads Mac Danford celebrates after hitting a home run during Friday’s game against Holmes County. Mark Skinner | TIMES

The Sneads Pirates baseball team had a little extra incentive going in to Friday night’s game in enemy territory against Holmes County.  No matter the century, no baseball team wants to be a step behind softball. The Sneads Lady Pirates softball team had already punched their ticket to the state tournament and baseball wanted a shot at it also. They knew up front they had their work cut out for them and they took the diamond with one thought – a win and we are headed to state. Seven innings later, a 4-2 win under their belt and they are headed to the final four for a shot at Sneads first state baseball championship.  

Coach Andy Shelton sent Justin Tye to the mound. Tye got the job done and left after six complete innings with a 4-1 lead, giving the Pirates a chance to win it all. He went six innings, giving up one run on two hits, five walks and struck out three batters.  Senior Mac Danford was called on to close out the final inning for his first appearance on the mound this season. After a leadoff single, followed by a hit batter, Danford recorded the first out. A single allowed one run to score before a pair of outs ended the inning.

The Pirates were on offense first and with one out, Tyler Brown singled up the middle but was caught attempting to steal second with no runs crossing the plate.

Holmes County drew first blood in the bottom of the second inning with one run crossing the board. The Pirates took the lead and kept it in the third inning. With Justin Tye drawing a leadoff walk, Mac Danford went yard over the centerfield fence to put Sneads up 2-1. 

Sneads had opportunity in the fourth inning but could not capitalize on a run crossing the plate. Parker Hayes reached on an error with one out but was out on a fielder’s choice by Zach Thomas. A grounder ended the inning.

The Pirates added a pair of runs in the sixth inning. Tuesday night’s hero on the mound, Colton Mercer got it done offensively when he took advantage of a Holmes County miscue to get things going. A sac by Russell Allen moved Mercer to second before a two-out double by Parker Hayes had him crossing home plate.  Zach Thomas singled up the middle to score Hayes before the inning came to an end.

The Pirates were three up, three down in the top of the seventh but had more than enough for the win. 

Sneads was scheduled to head to state early Tuesday morning to take on Williston. State tournament is held in Ft. Myers.

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