The Ridgeland Panthers enjoyed an 8-1 lead going into the top of the seventh on Thursday night, but nearly saw it all slip away before finally finishing off an 8-7 victory over the Southeast Whitfield Raiders in Game 2 of their Region 6-AAAA series.
The Panthers led 7-0 after three innings and tacked on an insurance run in the sixth. However, the Raiders would plate six runs on just three hits in the top of the seventh and had bases loaded with one out.
But second baseman Drew Meade would catch a pop-up and double the runner off the bag at second to complete a gift-wrapped, game-ending double play to secure the victory.
Ridgeland had 10 hits on the afternoon. Lane Johnson had a single and a triple to go with an RBI and two runs scored. Meade went 2 for 3. Isaac Pitts was 2 for 3 with two RBI's. Terrance Roberts had a hit and an RBI, while freshman Hudson Couch belted his first prep homer with two-run shot in the bottom of the first.
Robert Jent walked eight batters in six innings, but also struck out nine and allowed just four hits, while the run he gave up was unearned. Meade recorded one out in the seventh before turning things over to Austyn Acuff, who got the final two outs to pick up the save.
Ridgeland (6-4, 3-2) will face Southeast again on Friday. The game will be played on the artificial turf of the Lake Point Complex in Emerson.