BROCK — In the old days, it may have called a white knuckler — a stressful situation where failure simply wasn’t an option.
Yet that’s what Jim Ned reliever Blaine Palmer faced with two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh inning — asked to protect a 3-2 lead over Early in a one-game 3A regional quarterfinal.
Palmer overcame an early rush of nerves and delivered a game-clinching strikeout of Early’s Riley Hill to send the Indians (30-0-1) to the Region I-3A semifinals where they will face either Shallowater or Denver City next week.
Early, which saw a solid performance by starting pitcher Caydon Laird go to waste, closed the season at 23-9. But not before putting a serious scare into the Indians in game’s final inning.