ALEXANDRIA — Staring down the barrel of a 6-3 deficit heading into the bottom of the final inning, the Alexandria baseball team didn’t blink Monday.
A bases-loaded walk to Mason Hoke and RBI singles by Jessie Gossett and Drew Johnson sent Tigers fans home happy after the team scored four runs with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to pull out a 7-6 win over Madison County rival Anderson.
“We left so many runners on base, we just couldn’t come up with the big hit,” Alexandria coach Jeff Closser said. “I knew if we got back to the top (of the order), Jessie and Drew are hitting right around .500, so I knew if we got back to them we had a chance to win this.”
Alexandria scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the first when DH Blaize Kelly singled home Johnson. The Tigers also left the first two of their nine runners on base in the inning.
Anderson came to bat in the second and showed patience at the plate, something that was missing in the first when several batters went after the first or second pitch delivered by Alexandria starter Jonah Jerrils. Jerrils struggled in the second as the Indians scored three runs on three hits and a walk to take a 3-1 lead.
The Indians plated a run in the third and two more in the fourth to take a seemingly comfortable 6-1 lead.
The Tigers' comeback began in the fifth when Beau Thompson grounded out to short but drove in Owen Young.
Hoke scored from third in the sixth as Anderson catcher Anthony Fuller threw out Gossett trying to steal second.
The Indians appeared to be on their way to adding insurance runs in the seventh against Hoke, who came in to relieve Jerrils in the fifth. Hoke walked Tony Bova and Joe Moran to lead off the inning before striking out Dax Swanson and getting Cory Chilcote to hit a lazy pop out to second. Kevin Jackson drew a two-out walk to load the bases, but Fuller grounded into a fielders’ choice to end the inning and keep the score at 6-3.