Calmer. Cooler. Clutch.
With the pressure at its peak, Alex Urban delivered a RBI single in the bottom of the final inning to propel Pelham to a 3-2 come-from-behind thriller against Hewitt-Trussville in Game 1 of the AHSAA Class 6A best-of-3 series Friday at Paterson Field.
“I started off bad and guys just kept telling me to calm down, calm down,” said Urban, a junior left fielder who batted 1-for-4 Friday. “Finally I quit being stubborn and listened to them. Just calmed down and prayed and just hit it in the right spot.”
Fletcher Johnson reached on a two-strike single and stole second base to set the stage for Urban’s smashing hit up the middle on junior reliever Michael Busby (3-1).
“Once we came up, I knew we were going to win it,” said Johnson, who went 3-for-4 and scored twice. “I didn’t know if it was going to be me or somebody, but somebody was going to get it done.”
Game 2 is set for at 4 p.m. today at Riverwalk Stadium. If a Game 3 is necessary, it will be played 30 minutes after Game 2 ends. It’s scheduled to start at 7 p.m.
“These guys don’t quit,” Pelham coach Sean Anderson said. “They just keep fighting. It’s not over by any means. We’ve got a great team across from us.”
As clutch as Urban and Johnson were, starter Thomas Lowery chilled Hewitt-Trussville’s bats to keep Pelham (27-13) in striking distance with the Huskies (34-12).
“You take your hat off to Thomas Lowery,” said Jeff Mauldin, who coached Lowery and the Panthers before taking the job at Hewitt-Trussville after last season. Pelham finished 34-6 last season.
“Obviously I know him very well. He pitched like he’s capable of. It was a dominating performance by him. He’s a bulldog on the mound. He’s a warrior. He was the difference in the game.”
After giving up a solo homer from senior Connor Cox and an unearned run in the second, Lowery (9-1) retired 14 consecutive batters.
Throwing 105 pitches, Lowery allowed just three hits and struck out 10 in a complete game.
“I don’t know what else to say about him other than he’s done tonight what he’s done for us the past four years,” Anderson said.
Numbers aside, Lowery showed resiliency in overcoming a balk call to strike out pinch hitter Luke Owens looking to end the seventh with the game tied 2-2.
After the called strike, Lowery stomped his foot in celebration and ignited the Pelham fans.
“I play the game with a lot of emotion,” said Lowery, who has signed to play baseball at UAB. “I try to keep calm during the game, but when something big like that happens, I can’t help it.”