The first time Pleasant Grove’s Sidewinders played the Varnell Tigers this season, the Sidewinders put up a one-sided, 19-4, victory.

The Tigers weren’t so easy Tuesday.

The unbeaten Sidewinders, scoring five runs in the third inning, pulled out an 8-7 win over the Tigers as the Whitfield County Recreation Department Farm 7-year-old coach-pitch baseball tournament got under way at Dug Gap Park.

“We wore them out the first time we played,” Sidewinders coach Tony Ledford said. “They played a lot better tonight. They look like a very improved team. We helped them a little bit but I’m taking nothing from them.”

In other early first-round games in the double-elimination tournament, the Dawnville Bulldogs beat the Valley Point Green Waves, 12-8, and the Pleasant Grove Nighthawks defeated the Westside Cougars, 10-7.

The 7-year-old tournaments (the Farm 8 boys are playing at Edwards Park, the Farm 8 girls at Varnell Park wind up Saturday morning).

The Sidewinders and Tigers played an entertaining ballgame, the purist form of baseball, with each of these player’s diamond careers still in its infancy. They may not always know which base to throw to, or when to run and when to stop, but they love what they’re doing.

Coaches coach hard. Parents screame and yell and suffer from moments of high blood pressure.

The Tigers (8-4) took a 1-0 lead in the first when Ethan Whaley singled and eventually scored on Walt Douglas’ hit to center. They stretched the lead to 2-0 in the second when Ethan Langford singled and scored on Will Douglas’ hit to left.

The Sidewinders (12-0) got a run in the second. Zane Sanford reached on an error and came home on Jay Ledford’s infield hit.

“We’ve come a long way since early in the season when this bunch beat us 19-4,” Tigers coach Mitch Land said. “What we had to do tonight was play good defense. That’s a good hitting ballclub over there. They had a couple of good hits, but we didn’t make many errors.

“And our bats came alive with a couple of hits.”

In the third, two Tigers errors paved the way to three of the five Sidewinders runs. David Thomas singled, but Cole Roberts and Joe Gearhart each reached on errors, with Thomas scoring on the second miscue.

Roberts scored on a groundout and Gearhart came home on Sanford’s infield hit. Sanford and Michael Pipkin, who reached on an infield hit, scored on Sherman Warmack’s double to left.

“We have a few tight games during the season, but this was the lowest-scoring tight game by far,” Ledford said. “We scored 31 or 32 runs in a game once, and this was by far the fewest runs we scored this year. Their defense had a lot to do with that.”

The Sidewinders added two runs in the fourth on Hudson Smith’s double.

Varnell picked up a run in the third on a fielder’s choice and an error and another in the fifth when Whaley doubled and scored on Lathe Land’s single to left. Walt Douglas doubled with one out but was stranded.

Next week the 9-14 girls and 13-14 boys start their tournaments while the 9-12 boys take the tourney spotlight the week of June 12.

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