Drama prevailed Friday night at the Lake Junaluska Elementary School ballfield when The Mountaineers came from two runs down with a courageous seventh inning to walk away with the victory.
The Mountaineers broke the scoring ice with two runs in the fourth. The Black Hawks quickly responded, tallying four runs in the top of the fifth to take a 4-2 advantage.
That was the Mountaineers’ deficit going into the bottom of the seventh with Tuscola coming to the plate. Josh Heatherly started the rally with a lead-off single. Zack Cabe followed with a single, two men on. Jared Penland drew a walk to load the bases. Jett Benson followed with a SAC fly, scoring Heatherly. Trent Turner walked to again load the bases. Asa Allison struck out, and the Mountaineers were down to their last out.
With the game on the line, Clay Burgess lined a single to center on a 2-1 count, with Cabe and Penland coming home to win the game.
The crowd went wild, the players celebrated with a dog pile and now the pressure is on.
Jake Rogers was the winning pitcher for Tuscola. Rogers went the final two and a third innings allowing no runs, no hits and just walking one.
Tuscola is 6-6 and with two games remaining, a chance for a wild card spot in the playoffs is in the offing.
The seasons’ last two games will be a challenge for the Mountaineers. They played first-place T.C. Roberson (11-1) on Tuesday and will play the season finale home against West Henderson (7-5) on Thursday, June 10.
Win both games and a playoff spot is possible.
Senior team leader Turner likes the chances.
“I feel we are prepared and have been playing very well lately. I hope we carry this momentum into our upcoming games.”