Panthers rally past Wesson Cobras

Published 6:00 am Monday, March 24, 2003

Brookhaven kept swinging the bats Saturday afternoon and neverslowed down as the Panthers took a 13-7 victory over Wesson’sCobras in a slugfest at Moyer Field. The two teams combined for 24hits and the Panthers erased a 7-5 deficit to claim their 11thvictory of the season.

Darius Perkins, a big, strong sophomore right-hander, finallyprovided the stopper for Brookhaven. In 3.1 innings of shutoutrelief, he limited Wesson to just 1 hit, struck out 2 batters andwalked 2. He improved his record to 1-1, notching his first varsityvictory.

“It felt good to win,” said Perkins. “I knew I had to throwstrikes and let the defense do their job. I threw by fastball andcurveball.”

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Brookhaven coach Randy Spring was forced to pull startingpitcher Reggie Smith when his right shoulder began tightening up inthe top of the third inning. Josh Townsend moved to the mound andlasted 1.2 innings as Wesson erased a 5-0 deficit to take a 7-5lead in the fourth.

“Reggie felt a little tightness (arm) before the game but it’snothing major,” Spring explained. “Josh Townsend didn’t pitch thatbad. We didn’t play defense behind him.”

Spring praised the performance by Perkins. “Darius was hugetoday. He came in and battled. That gives us one more arm we cancount on down the road.”

Brookhaven was minus two starters in centerfielder Josh Anderson(pulled quad muscle) and third baseman Scotty Smith(hamstring).

Wesson (8-5) rode the right arm of senior Justin Smith for 5complete innings. He gave up 13 runs on 13 hits, struck out 4batters, hit 4 and walked 1.

Russell Robinson replaced Smith in the sixth.

“Brookhaven got more hits than us, especially in crucialsituations,” said Wesson coach Phillip Knight. “We played hard andnever did quit.”

The Panthers led 5-0 in the second inning. Second baseman JustinSykes and shortstop Brooks Hall provided RBI singles. Reggie Smithand Sykes both had 3 hits in the victory.

Wesson battled back and rallied for 5 runs in the fourth. An RBIsingle by designated hitter Tom Burgess tied the score at 5-5.Catcher Chris Peets smashed a double over the third base bag toplate 2 runs and give the Cobras a 7-5 advantage.

That’s when Perkins replaced Townsend on the mound.

In the bottom of the fourth, Brookhaven gained a 7-7 deadlock.Townsend had a leadoff single, Reggie Smith was hit by a pitch andSykes blooped a bunt over the first baseman to load the bases.Catcher Adam Ogden delivered a 2-RBI single to right field and itwas 7-7.

In the fifth, Brookhaven took control of the scoreboard with a6-run explosion. Perkins slapped a hard single past the shortstopand the Panthers led 8-7. Reggie Smith followed with a 2-RBI singleto center and it was 10-7. Sykes added another RBI single for an11-7 advantage.

Before Perkins entered the game, the Cobras had accounted for 2hits from Ryan Williams, Robinson and Peets.

In the JV game, Brookhaven beat Wesson10-2.

Brookhaven (11-6) visits Terry Tuesday night for a Division 6-4Ashowdown. The Panther junior high team hosts McComb for a Mondaydoubleheader, starting at 5 p.m.