Tatham helps keep Pisgah perfectTatham belts two homers, drives in five runs to help propel Black Bears to 10-0 overall record
CANTON — Junior Thomas Tatham was clutch for Pisgah at the plate and on the mound in Thursday afternoon’s WNC Athletic Conference varsity baseball game with visiting Smoky Mountain at the Charles Thomas Wells Complex.
The 6-foot-5 Tatham belted two home runs, drove in five runs, started and went the distance to earn the win as the Black Bears corralled the Mustangs, 9-6, to improve to 10-0 overall and 5-0 in the WNCAC.
Both teams combined for 27 hits with Pisgah banging out 17.
A pair of runs in the top of the second gave Smoky Mountain a 2-1 lead before Tatham went deep with a two-run blast to stake Pisgah to a 3-2 lead. But the Mustangs managed to scratch a run in the top of the fourth to tie the contest at three.
However, the Black Bears recaptured the lead, 8-3, with five runs in the bottom of the fourth, sparked by Tatham’s three-run homer.
Trailing 9-4, the Mustangs did provide the drama in the top of the seventh when they scored two runs and had two runners on before Tatham got the final out.
At the plate, Pisgah was led by senior Nathan Summey and junior Josiah Ledford, who had three hits each. Tatham, junior Mason Fox, junior Micah Ledford, sophomore Bryce Burgess and junior Lucas hall had two hits each.
Pisgah will look to stay undefeated on the season and in the WNCAC when it hosts Brevard on Tuesday (4:30 p.m.) at the “Wells.”
Pisgah edges Smoky, loses two at national tourney
CANTON — The struggling Pisgah varsity softball team took advantage of seven Smoky Mountain errors, including three on the final play of the game in the bottom of the seventh to escape with a 6-5 WNCAC win at the Diamond on the River Complex Thursday afternoon.
The Black Bears’ record stands at 6-6 overall after losing to nationally-ranked Alexander Central (9-0) and Thomasville Ledford (8-7) in the Clash of Champions Tournament on Saturday in Taylorsville. Pisgah’s mark in the conference is 3-2.
Tied at five in the home-half of the seventh, junior cleanup Callie Kuykendall led off and reached base safely on shortstop Claudia Crowe’s fielding error. Opting not to bunt, junior third baseman Shelby Tomassi still moved Kuykendall over to second with a swinging dribbler out in front of the plate.
When the throw went to first to retire Tomassi, Kuykendall rounded second but stopped abruptly. What followed provided a strange ending to the contest.
Smoky’s Mackenzie Miller threw the ball to third or to the pitcher inside the circle sailed over her head, past third and down the left field line. An alert Kuykdenall raced to third. When Katie Fortner retrived the ball, she snapped a throw to third, which was wide and hit Kuykdenall on the hip and ricochet to shallow left field.
Kuykendall made it home safely with the game-winning run to the delight of the home crowd and to the stunned disbelief of the visitors .
Chelsea Ward gave Smoky a 3-0 lead in the top of the first when she crushed a three-run homer off starter Ashley Penland. But the Black Bears stormed back with four in the bottom half of the first frame to take a 4-3 lead.
Kuykdenall ripped an RBI single, Mandalin Blanton lined a 2-RBI double off the base of the left-center wall and she scored on Nadia Husdon’s single and fielding error by Miller in center.
It stayed 4-3 until Smoky’s Rachel matthews blasted a two-run home run off Penland in the top of the fifth.
Kuykendall relieved Penland and became the pitcher of record when Pisgah scored a run in the sixth on two more errors.
In the last two innings inside the circle, Kuykendall held the Mustangs scoreless, struck out two batters, walked one and gave up a single.
Pisgah finished with eight hits and Smoky Mountain had seven. Matthews and Ward led the Mustangs with two hits each, while Kuykendall led the Black Bears with a pair of hits.
Pisgah will host Brevard at 4 p.m. in an improtant WNCAC showdown on Tuesday. The Blue Devils are undefeated on the season and leading the conference.