What’s sports without a little drama?
That must be the East Lawrence Eagle’s motto as they provided plenty of it Wednesday night against Colbert Heights.
The Eagles kept the fans in attendance on the edge of their seats, erasing a four-run deficit and earning the win in the final inning 5-4.
“I thought we get hits and score runs a little better than we did. Their pitcher gave us some trouble, he really battled,” said head coach Zach Standridge. “But to get down 4-0 and to come back, I felt the more the game went on the more it went in our favor.”
Colbert Heights struck early, scoring four runs in the first three innings.
East Lawrence had just one in the third, an RBI single from Dakota Hamilton that scored Clay Pilgrim.
The Eagles finally broke through in the fifth, scoring three runs to tie the game.
Hunter Letson was the hero of the game, hitting a two RBI double to tie the game and then adding walk off sacrifice fly to seal the win.
“We knew we had to battle. It was 4-0 at one point but we knew we just had to make an adjustment,” said Letson. “It feels good because as a team we went out and won that one. We didn’t give up and it was a good team win.”
The four run comeback was a far cry of what would’ve happened to the Eagles last year had they been in the same situation, showcasing just how far the team has come in a year.
“It’s a combination of senior leadership and how far we’ve come as a program,” said Standridge. “They have more confidence in their ability. They have improved dramatically at the plate and I think the confidence that they know they can win games like this is the biggest difference.”
Matt Wisner had a big game for the Eagles, getting two hits along with an RBI and also scoring the game winning run.
Noah Barnes pitched the majority of the game, allowing four hits and four runs with seven strikeouts.
Clay Pilgrim got the win on the mound, coming in the final inning and throwing two strikeouts with no hits.
It was pre cursor to the following night when Pilgrim led the Eagles to another win over the Wildcats 2-1. Pilgrim pitched possibly his best game of the season, allowing just three hits and a run while striking out 16 in eight innings of work.
Pilgrim was just one pitch away from the 120 pitch limit, his last pitch was a strikeout.
With the 2-1 win, East Lawrence earned the series win and their first playoff berth since 2016.
“Anytime you can get to the playoffs it’s huge,” Standridge said. “People will deem your season a success just by getting there. It’s a huge step for us and it’s a great experience for these guys. And when you get there you never know what will happen.”