Panthers rally past Weddington in nine innings
Hunter Jones scored the winning run from third base on a passed ball with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift Piedmont High to a huge 8-7 comeback win against the two-time defending champion Weddington Warriors on Tuesday night.
Jones led off the bottom of the ninth inning with an infield single.
Jones, a senior shortstop who has signed with the Charlotte 49ers, helped Piedmont win the 2A state title in 2013.
Piedmont moved up to 3A this season, and now plays in the same conference as Weddington.
Piedmont improved to 4-0 in the Southern Carolina Conference and improved to 7-2 overall with its fifth win in a row.
Weddington has lost two straight and is now 3-2 in the SCC and 4-3 overall.
David Nash got the win in relief by getting a ground-out with two runners on base to end the top of the ninth inning to keep the game tied at 7.
Corey Sikes started on the mound for Piedmont and didn't allow a hit through the first three innings while striking out seven.
But Sikes gave up five runs in the fourth inning, and was relieved by Caleb Baucom with after giving up a lead-off single to Josh Hollifield in the fifth.
Baucom was effective, allowing two unearned runs and striking out six in nearly five innings of relief.
Sean Collins started and pitched into the seventh inning for Weddington, but got a no decision.
Nash knocked in two runs with an opposite-field double off the wall in right to make it 5-2 in the bottom of the fourth.
Hester, Todd Elwood and Sikes were 2-for-4 on the day.
The defending state champions continue their three-game series with a matchup at Weddington on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.
The third and final game of the series is Friday at Piedmont.