PELL CITY -- Mitchell Gossett threw a one-hitter in Pell City High School’s baseball win over Moody, 10-2, on Saturday afternoon on senior day.
Gossett allowed seven walks and two runs while striking eight.
“We just had good defense and we were hitting the ball well,” Gossett said. “We put up 10 runs, so that really helped.”
The junior pitcher was one out away from throwing a no-hitter, but Moody’s Jeremiah Shockley hit a two-out single.
“It is late in the year, and some of our guys are tired,” Pell City head coach Andrew Tarver said. “He sort of looked sluggish out there a little bit. He competes really well on the mound for us and he throws all three pitches every day. Our defense is pretty solid, so if he throws strikes, he can get out of some innings.”
The Panthers (19-8) used a huge fifth inning to take control. Pell City scored five runs in the frame, increasing its lead to 8-2.
Canaan Garrett scored on an error to give the Panthers a 4-2 edge. A passed ball allowed Collier Slovensky to score to make it 5-2.
Gossett helped out his own cause with a sacrifice bunt to score a run to make it 6-2. Clayton Hildebrant hit a double to score Josh Bowling.
Kolten Fincher’s sacrifice bunt scored a runner from third to increase the margin to 8-2.
“That’s just part of our game,” Tarver said. “When we have a guy on third, we have to get them in somehow. The easiest way is to bunt them in. Our guys work really hard at doing that.”
For Bailey Watkins, Garrett, Slovensky, Joshua Bowling, Fincher, Noah Hathorn and Robert Cofield, this was their final regular-season home game. Tarver is proud of what his seniors have accomplished this spring.
“Our seniors have worked really hard for us,” he said. “They have been working hard for the last four years. For them to have the opportunity to go to the playoffs and play Minor on Thursday, we are really excited about that. I am looking for some big things out of all of our guys.”
Gossett was elated his performance played a role in sending the seniors out on top on senior day.
“It is really good,” Gossett said. “I am glad that they are happy, they get to eat with their families and not play this game (against Munford in the second game of the doubleheader).”
Tarver said his players always get up for the challenge of taking on Moody. With the two communities only being 14 miles apart, the players and coaches know each other. Moody head coach Eamonn Kelly was an assistant coach for Tarver for several seasons.
“Our kids love playing Moody,” Tarver said. “The Moody guys and Pell City guys are really close to each other, so they have a lot of communication. It’s one of those games … our kids get up for.”
The Panthers have won nine of their last 10 games. Pell City will close out the regular season by playing at Spain Park on Monday and hosting Oxford on Tuesday.