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Metter tops Portal

    PORTAL — A late Portal rally was not enough to overcome a five-run sixth inning by Metter as the Panthers fell to the Tigers by a score of 10-6 in Portal on Wednesday night.
    Jordan Clark got the start for the Panthers (4-3, 1-0) and pitched four strong innings for PHS allowing only three runs on four hits on just 48 pitches, and was taken out with Portal trailing MHS 3-2.
    Josh Vining got the scoring started early for Metter when his first inning solo homerun gave the Tigers a 1-0 advantage. The lead was extended to 2-0 in the second when — with runners on the corners —a Clark wild pitch allowed Tiger shortstop Blake Williams to cross the plate.
    Portal responded in the third inning after an RBI single by Brett Rivers and a past ball allowed Mickey Williams and pinch-runner Nicholas Boggs to score tying the game at two runs apiece.
    Metter re-took the lead in an error-ridden fourth inning when Blake Williams was able to cross the plate for a second time on a series of fielding errors by PHS, and the Tigers went up by a score of 3-2.
    Portal was again able to bounce back, and took the lead in the bottom of the fifth. After back-to-back wild pitches got PHS catcher Cody Cowart to third, Tagg Lanier was able to draw a walk, putting runners on the corners with one out. Brandon Mock bounced an RBI single past Tiger third baseman Jeremy Bass, and the score was once again tied. After a Dustin Jones walk loaded the bases, it looked as though Metter was about to get out of the inning. Dustin Jones grounded to Bass, who got the force out at home plate. Then catcher Jamie Roberts tried to turn the double play at first, but overthrew his first baseman allowing Mock to score, and Portal went up 4-3.
    The Tigers put five runs on the board in the top of the next inning — aided by a three-run homerun by Evan Durden — on Panther reliever Luke Anderson, and Portal was never able to recover.
    Metter replaced starter Josh McGlashan — who pitched a strong game into the sixth inning — with freshman closer Jeremy Bass, who was making his first varsity appearance. He brought the heat to the Panthers, and although he started off a bit wild — he walked the first batter he faced — Bass struck out the next three Panthers in succession to get out of the inning.
    “(Bass) is the hardest thrower we’ve seen,” said PHS coach Tendai Haggins. “But he tried to get ahead on the first pitch fastball. We’re a fastball hitting team, so hopefully we’ll bounce back tomorrow and be ready to play.”
    Despite two more runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, Bass was able to record his first save, and the Panthers fell to the Tigers 10-6.
    “Portal is a great team, and they beat us last week,” said Metter coach Don Mims. “Coming in here, we wanted to get things even. We’ve got a young team, and we just need experience. We got behind there, and had a couple of kids hit some home runs. We’ve been struggling with the bats a little bit, so it was good to get that going… We always have good battles with Portal so we were expecting that again. Of course they made a run back at us there at the end, and we were expecting that too. We are very pleased, and we needed this.”
    Portal returns to the diamond when they host  Southeast Bulloch Yellow today at 5:30 p.m.

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