Demopolis splits with Chilton, game three Tuesday
Ben Pettus stymied a potential sixth-inning rally to keep Chilton County at bay and extend Demopolis’ playoff life with a 4-3 win in the nightcap of a double header Monday.
“Amazing. What else could we ask out of him,” Demopolis head coach Ben Ramer rhetorically asked. “That is a pressure situation and he was ready for it.”
Pettus took to the mound with runners on second and third and nobody out in the bottom of the sixth inning of a 3-3 game. He proceeded to strike out two batters before getting another to fly out to deep center field to nullify the threat.
Demopolis then pushed across the go-ahead run in the top of the seventh when Bill Holemon led off with a single before ultimately finding his way home on an E5 with two away in the frame.
Pettus made the narrow lead stand up by striking out three in the seventh inning to pick up the win.
Chilton scored its first run in the fourth with an RBI fly out by Craig Headley that sent Cameron Cummings home to tie the game. Demopolis’ first score came in the top of the opening inning when Holemon hit an RBI grounder to score Pettus.
Demopolis retook the lead in the fifth when Kole Thrasher singled before eventually trotting home from third base on a balk call. Allen Tucker later blooped an RBI single into right centerfield to score Alex Sturdivant.
Down 3-1, Chilton responded in the bottom of the frame with a trio of walks to start the inning. Trevor Thomas then hit grounder to score Trenton Bishop before Headley struck again with an RBI single that allowed Evan Moatts to tie the game.
“He’s hitting over .400 and he is a 10th grader,” Chilton coach Josey Shannon said of Headley, who recored three hits, walked twice and knocked in three runs in the twin bill. “He is just a natural. I hate to use that word, but he really is.”
The game came on the heels of 7-3 Chilton win in the opener. That game saw CCHS break a scoreless tie in the fourth when it plated four runs. The big blow of the inning came off the bat of Bishop, who doubled home Adam Minor and Blake Teel. Chilton scored two more on an error.
Demopolis answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning, getting two scores when Holemon singled home Daniel Sturdivant and Pettus. Chilton went on to put the game out of reach in the sixth when it sent three more across.
Chance Calloway anchored the effort on the mound for Chilton, working a full seven innings while scattering seven hits and striking out six for the win.
“It’s the same job he has been doing all year,” Shannon said of Calloway. “He’s got a bulldog mentality. He’s just so dar competitive. He keeps you in ball games.”
Demopolis extended the second round series to a decisive third game despite stranding 23 runners over 14 innings of play Monday night.
“Very, very fortunate,” Ramer said. “At this level in the playoffs, when you are leaving that many runners on, it is tough to keep on playing. We had opportunities all day long in both games.”
The Tigers will tangle again Tuesday at 5 p.m. for rubber game of the series and the right to move on to the third round of the 5A playoffs. The winner of that game will host its next series regardless of the opponent.