Staff Photo: John Bohn Peachtree Ridge's Steven Tomlinson (21) celebrates scoring a run with teammate Cooper Burdick (15) during the first inning of a game against Mountain View on Monday. Tomlinson, a pinch runner, scored from second base on a single by Brian Hanberry, setting the score at 1-0.
LAWRENCEVILLE -- Tyler Haswell entered in a tough spot and he didn't do much to make things easier.
The Peachtree Ridge shortstop and relief pitcher took the mound with two runners on base and his Lions clinging to a 5-2 lead on the road against Region 7-AAAAA foe Mountain View. He allowed the next two batters to knock in runs and walked two more, eventually loading the bases with two outs. But the righty got the Bears' Payton Fore to line out to short to stop the rally and Peachtree Ridge held on for a 5-4 win.
"Once I got out of that inning, I felt like we had the game," Haswell said. "I made it hard on myself."
Even in the seventh, Haswell found a bit of trouble. After he retired the first two batters, he allowed a walk and a hit to put runners on the corners with two outs. But he struck out Brant Schwendel to end the threat and the game.
"Haswell is a little bulldog for us," Peachtree Ridge coach Ryan Hanik said. "He likes the ball in pressure situations. We have the confidence he'll get it done."
The win keeps Peachtree Ridge (11-5, 6-2 region) within a game in the loss column with 7-AAAAA leader North Gwinnett. Mountain View drops to 4-6 in 7-AAAAA.
Until the sixth-inning rally, it didn't look like the Lions would face much pressure against Mountain View.
Both teams scored a run in the first inning and then Peachtree Ridge struck for four in the top of the second. Cole Rives doubled in a pair of runs on a 1-for-3 night and Robert Sanchez singled to end the night of Mountain View starter Garry Gwaltney after just 1 innings. Sanchez ended the night 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
Pitching with a lead, first-time starter Jonathan Hudson cruised through his scheduled four innings. After the first-inning run, he didn't allow a runner past second and gave up just two hits over his last three innings, striking out one and walking one.
"We wanted four solid innings out of him and he gave that to us," Hanik said. "He did really well for us."
But after the big second inning, the Peachtree Ridge bats went quiet. Bears' relievers Evan Griffith and Joey Bell combined for 5 innings without allowing a run. Bell struck out four during his three innings.
"I felt like, offensively, we relaxed a little bit," Hanik said. "But give them credit."
The hard-throwing Bell upped the tempo on the mound, working through his pitches quickly, allowing just two hits and walking one.
The Bears' shutdown set up the late rally where Gwaltney, Beau Blair and Schwendel all knocked in runs. But Haswell made sure the tying run stayed on base, giving Peachtree Ridge its 10th win in its last 12 games.
"We had a tough beginning of the season schedule," Haswell said. "As region play has started we've really gotten it together."