Hinds keeps season alive with walk-off homer in 17th inning

Published 7:58 pm Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Hinds Community College worked long and hard to stay alive at the NJCAA Region 23 baseball tournament.

Matt Corder hit a two-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the 17th inning to finally end an epic elimination game against Itawamba Community College, and give Hinds a 5-3 victory Wednesday afternoon.

Hinds (24-17) advanced to play East Central in another elimination game Thursday at 3:30 p.m.

Hinds fell into the losers’ bracket with a 6-2 loss to Pearl River on Tuesday night. The Eagles turned around from that defeat to play the first game on Wednesday’s schedule, and it just kept going and going.

Itawamba scored three runs in the top of the fifth inning, Hinds got one back in the bottom half on a sacrifice fly by Connor Carter, and then neither team scored again until Corder went deep in the 17th inning.

Both teams had chances. Hinds left two runners on base in the ninth and 14th innings, and Corder was stranded at second after doubling in the 12th. Itawamba left two runners on in the seventh. By and large, however, both teams were kept in check by dominant bullpens.

Itawamba’s David Rowland pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings, struck out eight, and threw 115 pitches before giving up Corder’s homer. Hinds relievers Holland Townes, Noah Magee and Brooks Auger combined for 11 strikeouts and allowed only two walks and three hits in 12 innings. Auger retired 13 consecutive batters between the 13th and 17th innings.

The stalemate finally ended in the bottom of the 17th, and rather quickly at that. Colby Collier led off with a single and advanced to second on an error. Corder then lined a 2-2 pitch over the right field wall for his fifth hit of the game, as well as the game-winner.

Corder finished 5-for-7 with three doubles, one home run, two RBIs and two runs scored. Pablo Lanzarote had three hits, including a two-run double in the first inning. Collier was 3-for-5 with two runs scored. The rest of Hinds’ roster had two hits combined.

Riley Davis led Itawamba with four hits in eight at-bats. Tyler Murphy was 3-for-7 with one RBI. The Indians struck out 17 times as a team.