Sneads is headed to semi-regionals after a solid 16-6 victory over Central last Wednesday night before a huge home crowd. Coach Laramie Dryden put the ball in Colton Mercer’s hand to lead his team to victory and he didn’t disappoint. Mercer went the shortened distance of five innings due to the mercy rule, gave up six runs, four earned, on eight hits, three walks, and struck out four batters.
Central scored two runs in the top of the first inning, with Sneads answering with four runs in the bottom of the second inning. Central tied the game with two runs in the top of the third, but the Pirates proved they were stuck on four. They plated four runs in the bottom of the third, fourth and fifth innings while Central answered with only two runs in the top of the fourth.
A two-out walk to Jalen Kenner went for nil as the next batter grounded out to third. In the second inning, the Pirate offense came alive with four runs crossing the plate. With two outs, Colton Mercer helped himself out by drawing a walk and scoring on a triple by Jay Nathan Hayes. Hayes scored on an error before Turner Gainer singled and moved to second on a walk to Darius Raines. Mac Danford doubled to score a pair of runs and then moved to third on a passed ball before the inning ended on a line drive to centerfield.
Sneads added four more runs in the third inning. With one out, Michael Weeks doubled and moved to third on an error. A single by Bryan Hamilton scored Weeks before a walk to Colton Mercer put runners on the corners. With two outs, Turner Gainer loaded the bases with a walk to lead the way for a three RBI triple by Darius Raines made it a four-run inning. A strikeout ended the inning.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Jalen Kenner singled to get things started. Kenner stole second and moved to third on a single by Michael Weeks. With one out, Mercer was hit by a pitch to load the bases for a sac fly to score one by Hayes. Gainer singled to score the final runs of the inning before Raines drew a walk. Two were left stranded when the next batter went down looking.
The final four runs for the Pirates came in the fourth inning starting with a leadoff single by Kenner. Kenner moved to third on a single by Dylan Driggers. Weeks singled and moved to second on an error. Bryan Hamilton drew a walk to load the bases. With two outs, Turner Gainer singled and the final runs scored on a passed ball to end the game on the mercy rule.
Sneads was scheduled to host Paxton Tuesday at 7 p.m. A win in semi-regionals puts them one step closer to the final four.