After losing a five-run lead in the top of the sixth to Buchholz on Tuesday, the Columbia (Lake City) Tigers could have found it hard to come back from.
But this Columbia team has found different ways to win throughout the season and pulled out the game against the Bobcats.
Sophomore Ayden Phillips drove in the go-ahead run on an infield single and added a two-run homer in the first inning to help lead Columbia to their eighth straight win, 7-6, over visiting Buchholz.
"We fought through a lot of adversity tonight," Columbia coach Chris Howard said. "But we made it through everything and were able to pick up a win."
The game didn't start that way for Columbia (15-2). The Tigers got off to a quick 3-0 lead in the first inning against Buchholz starter Austin Cardozo.
Senior Matthew Dumas walked to start the bottom of the first and then went to third base on a hit-and-run single by senior Hayden Gustavson. Cardozo attempted to pick off courtesy runner Bynton Edge between first and second base, but Dumas broke for home and beat first baseman Anthony Wilkie's throw to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
Phillips followed with his first homer of the season, a two-run shot off the light pole in center field, to extend the Columbia lead to 3-0.
Columbia picked up two unearned runs in the third off back-to-back Buchholz errors to increase the lead to 5-0.
Buchholz (10-4) got on the board in the top of the fifth as sophomore Kai So doubled and scored on back-to-back passed balls. But Columbia got the run back in the bottom of the inning to go up 6-1.
Edge came in for relief for starter Trayce McKenzie-Starling and gave up two walks, a hit and hit J.J. Gardner with the bases loaded to make it 6-2. Then So cleared the bases with a double to get the Bobcats within 6-5.
Phillip Maddox then entered the game and, after two strikeouts, hit Wilkie with the bases loaded to tie the game at 6-6.
The Tigers were able to come back with the run in the bottom of the sixth and Gustavson set down Buchholz in order in the seventh inning with two strikeouts for his third save of the season.
Buchholz will get another shot against the Tigers as they host Columbia at 7 p.m. on Friday.
P.K. Yonge 4, Palatka 3
Win No. 90 for P.K Yonge seven-year head baseball coach Rob Brunson won’t be one he will forget.
Senior catcher Jacob Pridgen’s single hit into the outfield allowed Micah Gratto to score the winning run from second base in the bottom of the seventh inning Tuesday and lifted P.K. Yonge to a 4-3 victory over visiting Palatka.
The Blue Wave (13-4) have won seven straight games -- five by rallying and two in walk-off fashion
“I keep saying it and this team keeps proving it,” Brunson said. “They are a gritty bunch. It’s nerve-wracking at times, but they are fun to watch and coach.”
Junior pitcher Nick Roach – who had four strikeouts and allowed three runs on four hits in 93 pitches -- benefited from solid defense though six innings. He helped himself by hitting two run-scoring singles.
Senior closer Lane Sparkman (3-0 with two saves) pitched a scoreless seventh inning to pick up the win.
Palatka (5-7) also played well behind the pitching of Jace Akers, who gave way to Cayden Annis in the seventh.
Gratto reached on an error and then stole second base as Xander Sanetz struck out swinging to set the stage for Pridgen’s hit.
Luke Sparkman also contributed a run-scoring double in P.K. Yonge’s win.
The Blue Wave (13-4) play at Dixie County at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.