By Johnny Sanders, Sports Editor
SPRINGVILLE – In a cross-town rivalry game under the Friday night baseball lights, the fans in attendance were treated to a great game that saw solid defense by each team, a home-team comeback in the final inning and a walk-off hit by one of the star players for the Springville Tigers as Brady Gillespie hit a single in the final inning with 2 outs on the board to drive in the winning runs and lead his team to a 4-3 victory over the Leeds Green Wave.
Leeds began the game with a 2-0 lead at the end of one inning of play. The Green Wave got the bats started when T Bedell hit a single to third base and A Bradford was walked to put 2 runners on base for C Vance who would ground out to second, but Bedell would cross the plate for the first score. W Landers would hit a grounder to second, but the ball would be mishandled, allowing Bedell to come home and make it 2-0 Leeds after one inning.
Springville would bring three batters to the plate and all three would get out before Leeds came back up to bat. Despite getting 2 runners on, the Green Wave would be unable to score in the second. This would be the case for the next few innings with both teams playing defense and not allowing any runs to be scored. Leeds would manage a third run in the fifth inning when Conner Nelson would drive in Bradford on a line drive to right field.
Leeds would take a 3-0 lead into the final inning of the game and Springville would come to the plate with a final shot at doing the unthinkable and coming back at the end of the game. T Oakes would get walked to start the inning and then G Martinez would hit a fly ball that would be caught by center fielder W Landers for the first out. Ty Harrison would then hit a double to left field to advance pinch-runner K Jones to third. With 2 runners on base, Leeds’ Jarrod Latta would walk Zach Brown to load the bases. Willis would come to the plate and ground out to shortstop scoring Jones to make it 3-1 Leeds with 2 outs against Springville. With Harrison on third and Brown on second, Brady Gillespie approached the plate. All he did was hit a single to left field and drive in Brown and Harrison and, when Leeds left fielder P Moore attempted to throw him out, he made it to home plate himself, winning the game for his team 4-3.
Coach Jonathan Ford had the following to say regarding the game, “In a game where neither team was swinging it well, it came down to us getting out of a huge jam in the sixth and getting a couple fo timely hits in the bottom of the seventh. Our starter on the mound, Carter Samuelson, was throwing really well but had some bad luck. He only allowed 4 hits in 5 innings of work. Leeds had the bases loaded and nobody out in the sixth and we were able to get out of that jam with no runs. That kept the score 3-1 going into the bottom of the seventh. Tanner Oaks led off with a walk and after an out, Ty Harrison doubled to put runners at second and third. Zach Brown drew a walk to load the bases. Kade Willis grounded out to score a run and Brady Gillespie then singled to score Harrison and Brown for the walk off.”
Ford continued, “This was a really big win for us because we lost similarly the night before. We were up on Oak Mountain 2-0 going into the bottom of the sixth and they scored 3 on us. We are 11-8 headed into spring break.”
The Tigers look to continue their winning ways with games this week in Huntsville against Arab before they head back to area play against Saint Clair County.