AUBURN, Ala. (WTVM) - The Smiths Station Panthers kept their AHSAA playoff hopes alive with a doubleheader split with the Auburn Tigers on Thursday night at Tiger Field. Auburn won the first game 6-1, while the Panthers took the nightcap 8-0.
The Tigers never trailed in the opener, scoring twice in the first inning. Will Turner was 3-for-4 with two runs scored, while Ryan Austin was 2-for-4 with a homer and four RBI.
Ryan Hasty’s fourth inning homer provided all the runs for Smiths Station.
Jack Tullier earned the victory, while Ellis Yohn took the loss.
With the game one defeat, the Panthers had their backs against the wall, needing a win in game two to remain in the playoff picture. They responded in a big way, exploding for eight runs in the top of the first inning, all the offense they would get, or need, thanks to Jacob Blackmon’s work on the mound, a three-hit shutout.
Auburn (26-4, 1-1 7A-Area 4) still controls its own destiny. One victory in next week’s series with the Central Red Devils would clinch a playoff berth, while a series victory over the Devils would mean the Area title.
Smiths Station (22-11, 1-3) would make the playoffs if Central sweeps the first two games versus the Tigers.