Trailing by three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning during its season opener, the Lakeside baseball team refused to give up against Grovetown and walked away with a 7-6 victory.
After a bases-loaded walk to Panthers pinch-hitter David Endredi tied the score at 6 in the final inning, Lane Wallace drew a walk Tuesday to bring in the winning run.
“The kids showed a lot of heart and battled to the end,” said Panthers coach Jay Matthews. “I almost feel guilty winning with a walk, but we’ll take it any way we can get it.”
Losing pitcher Garrett Haskins (0-1), who went the entire way for the Warriors, struggled with his control in the seventh, when he surrendered four of eight walks.
Despite the senior’s control issues, Warriors coach Mike Jones wasn’t about to call in a reliever while holding a three-run lead.
“We were in the seventh inning up three and watching his pitch count,” Jones said. “We wanted to see what he could do.”
Haskins finished with six strikeouts, five wild pitches and three hit batters.
Sophomore Evan Krenz (1-0) pitched the final inning for the Panthers for the win.
It didn’t look like any late-game drama would be necessary as the Warriors jumped to a 4-0 lead after Cody McAllister’s two-run single in the bottom of the third.
Tanner Brassel’s two-run single in the fifth cut the lead to 4-3, but the Warriors added runs in the sixth and seventh innings off freshman Peyton Jones and Krenz. The underclassmen took over after junior Hunter Hubbard gave up five hits and four runs in five innings.
Tanner Durand paced the Panthers, going 3 for 4 with an RBI. Zach Hornsby was 2 for 3 and scored twice.
For the Warriors, Phillip Dukes was 2 for 2 with two runs scored and an RBI. Ryan Beasley was 2 for 4 and Cameron Busby scored twice.