Gray’s 3-run shot gives Co-Lin sweep of LSU-Eunice

Published 5:00 am Thursday, April 25, 2002

WESSON – David Gray made his last home game at Co-Lin a specialmemory. The sophomore catcher slugged a 3-run homer in the bottomof the sixth inning which lifted the Wolves to a thrilling 8-6comeback victory Tuesday over the LSU-Eunice Bengal Tigers.

Gray’s clout, which cleared the left-center field fence, gaveCo-Lin a sweep of the twinbill. They won the opener 11-1 in 6innings. Most importantly, it kept Co-Lin’s hopes alive for a berthin the regional playoffs which begin in two weeks at a location yetto be determined.

Co-Lin (26-17), stands at 6-4 in the region race. The Wolvesvisit Poplarville Saturday for a South Division twinbill againstthe high-powered Pearl River Community College Wildcats. Game timeis 1 p.m.

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“I hope DG (Gray) takes that home run feeling with him for along time,” said Co-Lin head coach Keith Case. “It was amuch-needed win.

“Without question we will play after Saturday,” Case continued.”We must sweep Pearl River to make the state tournament. Onevictory at Pearl River would put us in the regional.”

If Co-Lin loses both games to Pearl River Saturday, the Wolveswill play Hinds next week in a 1-game playoff at a neutral site todetermine a berth in the regional, May 11-13.

Co-Lin 8, LSU-Eunice 6

Gray, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound catcher from Baton Rouge, shared theglory with his teammates. They trailed the Bengals 6-4 in thesixth. “It was a first-pitch, fastball. KB (Kyle Beall) got thatfirst run,” with a sacrifice fly. I was lucky to get a hit. Ourbullpen really did a good job.”

Gray’s homer was Co-Lin’s third of the game. In the third frame,third baseman Christopher Robinson slapped a 2-run homer. In thefourth, second baseman Matt Lea drove a pitch over the left fieldfence, reducing LSU’s lead to 5-4.

Freshman Cole Zumbro picked up the win in relief. He entered thegame with the bases loaded. Designated hitter Cody Carrier greetedhim with a single to center, plating 1 run and giving the Bengals a6-4 lead.

Zumbro struck out the next batter to end the uprising. In theseventh, he fanned 2 of the 4 batters he faced.

Freshman Miguel Banks started on the mound for Co-Lin and hadcontrol problems. He walked 4 batters, hit 2, gave up 5 runs on 5hits and struck out 1 before Seth Lofton replaced him in thefourth.

“We got some good relief pitching from Lofton and Zumbro,” saidCoach Case. Lofton was making a comeback from a broken bone in hisglove hand.

Lofton gave up 3 hits, 1 run, fanning 1 and walking 1.

The Bengals (23-24) led 4-0 in the third as they loaded thebases and scored twice. Robinson’s 2-run shot launched Co-Lin’scomeback.

Co-Lin 11, LSU-Eunice 1

The Wolves got a complete-game victory from freshman pitcherMitch Mangum in yesterday’s opener. He allowed just 2 hits, a solohomer in the second and a double. He struck out 2 batters andwalked 4.

Mangum, a freshman right-hander from Magee (Simpson Academy),said he struggled early but found the groove in the third inning.”I had a slow start but I kept trying to throw strikes and then Igot to my zone. I got stronger and we scored a lot of runs.”

Case said Mangum threw well. “Mitch’s slider started working andhe adjusted. He was up in the (strike) zone early but he got hisball down.”

Offensively, centerfielder Arlandus Brown and Beall both had 3hits, including a triple, and scored 3 times. Gray had 2 hits.

The Bengals got a solo homer from first baseman Josh Wells and adouble from Sam Alphonse.