Smoky Mountain sets up Saturday showdown
Smoky Mountain forced a decisive Game 3 with a 6-3 home win over Piedmont High in their best-of-3 baseball series on Friday.
The two teams will meet again Saturday at 4 p.m. at Piedmont to determine the West representative for the 2A state championship series.
The Panthers took a 3-1 lead in the top of the third inning on Cameron Price's two-RBI triple off the fence in left field that scored Jonathan Caldwell and John Elwood.
Smoky Mountain pitcher Mark Thompson settled in after that, though, allowing just one hit the rest of the way.
Thompson held the Piedmont to just three hits on the day, compared to 10 for the Mustangs.
In a matchup between undefeated pitchers, Thompson emerged with a 15-0 record while Caldwell dropped to 6-1.
Cal Raleigh led the Mustangs at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and a RBI, while teammate Tanner Nations was also 2-for-3 with a RBI.
Mustangs junior shortstop Jordan Couch was 1-for-3 with an RBI and is batting .500 in the series (3-for-6).
Smoky Mountain improved to 20-7 while Piedmont fell to 27-3 on the season.
... Price has a series-high six RBI in two games to lead Piedmont, and is 3-for-7 at the plate.
... Caldwell has reached base six times in seven plate appearances. He's been hit by a pitch three times, drawn two walks and also singled making him 1-for-2 in the series.
... Piedmont junior shortstop Hunter Jones was 1-for-1 with two walks on Friday, and is now 2-for-4 in the series with three walks.