CNHI News Services
Verdigris center fielder Tanner Smith delivered a run scoring triple in the eighth inning, then slid home with the game-winner on a Sequoyah bunt, lifting the Class 3A top-ranked Cardinals to a wild 7-6 victory over the Eagles Tuesday at the Pope Athletic Complex.
With the game tied 5-5 after seven innings, winning pitcher Gabe Rodery drew a walk off Eagles reliever McKaine Foster.
Smith slapped a triple to right field, scoring Rodery with the go ahead run, then came home on Ryan Skalnik’s attempted bunt for a hit.
Skalnik was thrown out at first, but Smith raced to the plate and slid past the tag of catcher Jeff Harrison, giving Verdigris a 7-5 lead.
In the bottom of the eighth, Sequoyah loaded the bases and Logan Tacker scored when Yance McGill blooped a base hit to left with one away. Benny Sandecki was tagged out going to third on the play, then Dillon Lyons grounded to first, saving victory for the Cardinals (12-1).
Sequoyah outhit Verdigris 9-6 with Foster ripping a three-run homer in the third and Tacker punching two singles.
In addition to his triple, Smith collected a base hit for the Cardinals with Skalnik picking up a double and single.Verdigris used four pitchers with Rodery gaining the win.
The lead bounced back and forth in a game where rallies never seemed to end. Foster’s three-run blast over center field gave the Eagles a 3-2 lead before the Cardinals tied it in the sixth. Peyton Battenfield walked, was sacrificed to second and reached third on a fielder’s choice. He scored on a wild pitch.
In the bottom of the sixth, Tanner Helm walked, was sacrificed to second and put Sequoyah up 4-3 when Harrison singled through the middle.
Verdigris retaliated in the seventh, thanks to a pair of Eagles’ errors.
Kale Keith reached base on a Sequoyah bobble, then Mitch Hammock walked. Battenfield’s base hit to right drove in Helm and Hammock gave the Cardinals a 5-4 lead after right fielder Lyons allowed the ball to get by him.
The Eagles again tied the game in the bottom of the seventh. Lyons cracked a base hit to right and Rodery struck Helm to load the bases. Rodery walked Levi Lewis on a 3-2 pitch, forcing home pinch runner Clay Moreland and setting the stage for the decisive eighth inning.