PEARL — In a back and forth night, Pearl topped Oak Grove 12-11 in extra innings to force a winner-take-all Game 3.
Pearl's Austin Green scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift the Pirates over the Warriors in the third round of the MHSAA Class 6A playoffs at Pirate Park on Friday night.
"Just really proud of the way the kids kept battling the whole game," Pearl coach Brian Jones said. "Early in the game, we were down, and we just kept chipping away and got big hits when we needed to."
Oak Grove (22-6) held an 8-2 lead in the fourth inning before the Pirates rallied with four runs in the bottom of the fourth and added two more in the fifth, which propelled them to take the lead in the sixth inning 10-9.
With Pearl (16-14) clinging to the lead in the top of the seventh inning, Oak Grove's Jack Sikes hit an RBI double to deep left to tie the game 10-10 with two outs.
In the bottom half of the inning, Oak Grove pitcher J.P. Lyon saw the first two batters get on but struck out the next three batters send the game into extra innings.
In the top of the eighth, Oak Grove's Blake Bullock connected on a fastball and hit an RBI double off the center field wall to give the Warriors an 11-10 lead.
Pearl again answered in the bottom half of the frame as Green reached on a fielding error. Andrew Arrant then hit a double down the third base line to put runners on second and third with no outs.
After an intentional walk to load the bases, Cole Copley got hit by a pitch to tie the game at 11.
In the next at-bat, the Warriors' reliever Blake Bullock's pitch got past the catcher that allowed Green to score the game-winning run to give Pearl (20-14) the win.
"Our guys do a good job of picking up one another, and they did that tonight," Jones said. "We get to live to play another day, and we've been Game 3's, and those are hitters games, so we give it our best shot."
Andrew Arrant had four hits, including three doubles, to lead the Pirates offensively.
Austin Green gets the win on the mound for Pearl.
In total, Oak Grove's pitching staff gave up 11 walks, with J.P. Lyon (6-2) taking the loss on the mound.
"When you're in the third round of 6A playoffs, and you walk people, hit people and make errors like we did, you pay for it," said Oak Grove coach Chris McCardle.
The Warriors managed to outhit Pearl 13-12, with Ethan Easterling, Peyton Peoples, and Bullock putting up three hits to lead the offense.
"We've got to put this behind us and come back tomorrow and get in a rhythm defensive or else we will be done," McCardle said.
The decisive Game 3 is set for Saturday night at Oak Grove at 7 p.m.