Last year, Port St. Joe started the season 0-6 before righting the ship to win 10 of its final 13 games and capture the district title.
Last week, the Tiger Sharks won two of their first three contests, including an exciting 5-4 walk-off win against Liberty County in the home opener on Tuesday, February 21.
After spotting the Bulldogs a run in the first inning, St. Joe took a 3-1 lead with two runs in the third and another in the fourth before Liberty County struck for three more in its half of the fifth to go ahead 4-3.
Not to be denied, the Sharks tied the game 4-all with a run of their own in the fifth. Wills Norton replaced starting pitcher Jentzen Odom on the mound in the sixth, and held the Bulldogs scoreless in their final two at-bats.
In the bottom of the seventh inning with one out, Fisher Vandertulip stroked a deep fly to center and ended up at third base with a triple. Next up to bat, Norton hit a grounder to third, but the throw home failed to hit the mark which allowed Vandertulip to score the winning run and start the celebration.
In addition to five innings on the hill for St. Joe, Odom collected two hits, stole a base, and drove in a run. Max Godwin and Jack Trochessett also hit safely twice, with each driving in a run as well. Godwin also swiped a base and scored a run.
Besides gaining the win, Norton scored a run, drove in one, and stole a base.
Hunter Hicks and Jabara Pearson got hits for the Sharks, with Pearson scoring a run. Also scoring for St. Joe, Brady Olsen added two stolen bases.
Thursday’s contest at Blountstown on February 23 turned out to be something of a “Murphy’s Law” situation for St. Joe in which if something could have gone wrong, it did, as the Tiger Sharks committed seven miscues in the field to help the Tigers gain a 15-0 win in four innings.
Holding a 6-0 lead going into the bottom of the fourth inning, Blountstown pushed nine runs across the plate to end the game.
Friday night’s game against the Godby Cougars of Tallahassee turned out to be more favorable to St. Joe, as the Sharks took a 13-3 win.
After a thirty minute delay while waiting for one of the umpires to arrive, Godby touched starting pitcher Hunter Hicks for two runs in the second inning, but the Sharks sent 12 men to the plate in their half of the inning to take a 7-2 lead on four hits, three walks, and two Cougar errors.
Norton got the Shark attack started by driving in two runs with a one-out single to center field, and St. Joe would go on to score five more runs with two outs.
Although Godby go a run in the third, that would be all of the Cougar scoring for the night.
Batting around in the third inning, St. Joe added three more runs to their total on a Godwin rbi single and a Pearson sacrifice fly.
The Sharks added a single run in the fifth, and ended the game in the sixth when the final two runs touched home following wild pitches.
Godwin, Odom, and Norton each got two hits, scored a run, and drove in one each. Pearson hit a two-bagger, scored twice, and had an rbi.
Aiding the Shark cause, three Godby pitchers combined to allow 10 walks along with three hit batters. Hicks gained the win for St. Joe, with Baylor Partie pitching the final two innings.
After playing at Sneads on Tuesday, February 28, the Sharks will face district rival Franklin County in Eastpoint on Friday, March 3.