With the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth inning, Commerce Tiger Chandler Rodgers hit a grand slam over the left field wall to secure a 10-5 victory over Athens Christian on Thursday.
After being “mercy ruled” (15-1) by the Eagles on the previous Tuesday. Commerce bounced back to give Athens Christian (13-1) its first loss of the 2014 season.
Commerce took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning after Cal Garner drove Rodgers in with a double to left field.
Athens Christian racked up four runs in the top of the third following a Commerce error, but the Tigers answered in the bottom of the inning. Caleb Brooks grounded out to first base, sending Trevor Johnson home. And after Rodgers walked, Garner sent them both around the diamond with a homer over the centerfield fence.
Following a scoreless fourth and fifth inning, Athens Christian snagged the lead after two Eagle batters hit line drive singles to left field. However, Commerce pitcher Daniel Streetman was able to minimize the damage by fanning the next batter.
Down 5-4 in the bottom of the sixth, Commerce quickly got runners in position to retake the lead.
Drew Whitfield walked and then advanced to second on a bunt by Streetman. Matthew Flint singled to right field, advancing Whitfield to third. Parker Moon drove Whitfield home and advanced Flint to second on a single to right field. Johnson walked on the following at-bat, before Brooks hit a single to right field, which scored Flint and loaded the bases.
Rodgers stepped up to the plate with one out and the bases loaded. He needed only a single, or a sacrifice fly to drive in the winning run, but instead he smashed one out of the park and jogged around the bases to be greeted by joyous teammates at home plate.
The Eagles scored once in the top of the seventh, but Streetman was able to close out the game when Flint fielded a grounder to second to start a double play.
Streetman struck out seven batters in seven innings, allowing seven hits and two earned runs. Rodgers was two-for-three at the plate with four RBIs. Garner went two-for-four at bat with three RBIs.
The Tigers fell 6-5 on Friday after losing to Hebron Christian 5-0, on the road.
Commerce fell to Hebron 9-2 on Tuesday.
The Tigers will host Lakeview Academy on Thursday and travel to Lakeview on Friday.
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