A regional playoff spot was on the line in the season finale at E.C. Glass High School for the Lancer varsity baseball team May 10.
The Lancers scored on a wild pitch in the top of the eighth inning to claim the hard-fought 6-5 win. Amherst jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two innings but would not score again until the seventh. The Hilltoppers tied the game at 4 in the sixth inning and after Amherst reclaimed the lead in the seventh, Glass tied it once again. It all came down to the eighth inning. Joseph Fielder led off with a walk. Reed Dawson laid down a scarifice bunt, advancing Fielder to second with one out. Fielder eventually took third on a wild pitch. After a second out, Christian Martin was intentionally walked. With Lucas Dickerson at the plate, the Glass pitcher uncorked another wild pitch, allowing Fielder to score the game-winning run.
The Hilltoppers got a runner to second base in the bottom of the eighth inning but catcher Tyler Knight picked the runner off before Chris Thomason struck out the next batter and sending the Lancers into a frenzy and into the regional tournament. Sophomore Brandon Franklin collected four hits and scored two runs to lead the Lancers. Dawson and Martin, who had three RBIs, both collected two hits. Tyler Hargis, in only his second mound appearance of the season, picked up the win while Thomason collected the save.
Earlier in the week, Amherst collected a win and suffered a walk-off loss. First, Amherst defeated Heritage 14-1. Martin had a monster day, going 4-4, including a home run, and knocked in seven runs. Dawson, Knight and Hargis each had two hits. Hank Meeks picked up the win in relief of starter Thomas Thompson. Meeks allowed one hit over the final three innings, walking two and striking out three.
The following night Amherst traveled to Harrisonburg and lost a nine-inning affair 5-4. The Lancers rallied from a 4-1 deficit with three runs in the sixth inning but the Blue Streaks were able to pull out the win with a ninth inning single with one out. Knight and Franklin collected five of the eight Lancer hits. Franklin’s two-run single with two outs in the sixth inning tied the contest at 4. Dawson suffered the tough luck loss on the mound. In his longest mound appearance, Dawson went four-and-two-third innings, allowing six hits, one run, walking two and striking out six. Only two of the Harrisonburg runs were earned.
Amherst will return to action May 15 in the Seminole District tournament. The opponent and location is to be determined. Region 4D playoffs begin May 22. The Lancers will be the eighth seed and travel to top seed Liberty Christian Academy.