Hunter Graham provided some late-inning heroics on Saturday night as the Southeast Lauderdale Tigers beat visiting West Marion 3-2 in game one of the Class 3A series.
Nursing a 1-0 lead, Graham ripped a big two-run single that scored Gage Hagan and Jake Smith for a 3-0 lead.
Graham needed all those runs as he had to relieve Nathan Ross in the second inning after West Marion scratched two runs to cut the score to 3-2. Graham then struck out the last two batters to secure the win.
Ross improved to 8-2 with the win as he struck out seven and gave up only two hits.
The Tigers had 11 hits at the plate as Ross had two hits along with Graham, Hagan, Smith, Mason Irby, and Gage Rainey.
The Tigers improve to 20-9 with the win and will travel to West Marion on Monday for game 2 of the series at 7 p.m.
Columbia 13, Newton County 3
DECATUR — The Cougars dropped Game 1 of their best-of-three series with Columbia High School Saturday, setting up a must-win situation for Newton County when it plays at Columbia Monday.
Eli Harrison was the only multiple hitter for Newton County as he finished 2-for-3 with a double. Harrison, Austin Elders and Cain Cleveland all scored runs for the Cougars. Harrison and John Ross Griffin both tallied RBIs.
Jacob Edwards took the loss for Newton County, surrendering nine runs — two earned — on 10 hits. He also struck out five. Newton County fell to 20-15 on the season.