A five-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning by Tullahoma sent its contest against Huntsville Lee into extra innings, before sophomore David Steele played hero in the bottom of the eighth in Gulf Shores, Alabama on Wednesday.
With a pair of runners on base, Steele got a hold of a pitch, clearing the left field fence as the Wildcats secured the 12-9 victory over the Generals. Wednesday’s victory wrapped up the Gulf Shores Classic where Tullahoma went 3-1 to open its season.
The Wildcats were slated to travel to Huntland on Friday night, before getting a series with Shelbyville Central underway on Tuesday. Tullahoma is set to host the Golden Eagles on Tuesday before heading to Shelbyville on Wednesday. Both games are scheduled to get underway at 6 p.m.
THS opened the Gulf Shores Classic on Monday with a pair of wins, downing Heritage Academy (Mississippi) 11-1, before holding on for a 6-5 win over Grove (Oklahoma). The Wildcats dropped their contest on Tuesday, losing to American Christian Academy (Alabama) 6-2, before wrapping up the tournament on Wednesday.
Down 9-4 heading into the bottom of the seventh against Huntsville Lee, Tullahoma plated five runs in the inning, tying the contest at 9. Jayson Spry led off the inning with a walk before Landon Carey came into pinch run. Brandon Burns followed with a single before Race Marin reached an error as Carey scored.
Steele followed with a RBI base knock, plating Burns. Chase Dixon followed with a base hit of his own, bringing home Marin. Steele was able to take home on an error when Dixon stole second base. Dixon later scored on a wild pitch, evening the score at 9.
After retiring Huntsville Lee in order in the eighth, Burns and Marin led off the bottom of the inning with back-to-back singles. With a 3-1 count, Steele homered, ending the contest.
Austin Mullins got the start on the mound for Tullahoma, pitching 5.1 innings, giving up nine runs, seven earned, eight hits, five walks and struck out four batters. Dalton Jones came in to pitch the final 2.2 innings, receiving the win after allowing just a hit and striking out two.
Josh Phillips took the loss for Huntsville Lee, tossing six innings, allowing six runs, five earned, eight hits, two walks and struck out three batters, before being relieved. Jalen Pearson tossed 0.2 of an inning, giving up three runs, one earned, two hits, two walks and struck out two batters.
Kane Adams pitched the final 0.1 of an inning, striking out a batter, before giving up three runs on Steele’s game-winning home run.