Late rally lifts Hornets over Wesson Cobras

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, April 2, 2003

WESSON – Junior catcher Matthew Delaughter provided late heroicsTuesday night for the Loyd Star Hornets who rallied for four runsin the top of the seventh inning to hand the Wesson Cobras a tough10-9 loss in division baseball action. A huge crowd watched theshowdown.

Wesson led Loyd Star 9-6 coming into the top of the seventh.Loyd Star’s Cody Cunningham and Jared Britt singled to lead off theinning. Jody Britt walked to load the bases. Delaughter, who hadpreviously walked in two at bats, belted a hit fly ball intocenterfield and was dropped by a Wesson outfielder and allowed tworuns to score and cut the deficit to 9-8.

Loyd Star’s Blake Wall was put on first. David Cuevas ripped afly ball to score Jody Britt who tied the game at 9-all. On a wildpitch from Wesson reliever Kyle Smith to catcher Chris Peets,Delaughter took advantage of the loose ball to score thegame-winning run.

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The Hornets held the Cobras scoreless in the bottom of theseventh to preserve the comeback win.

“We don’t give up,” said Loyd Star head baseball coach SidneyWheatley following the win. “It’s a big division win. If we beatPiney Woods Thursday, it’ll lock it up for us,” meaning theDivision 6-2A title.

Loyd Star improved to 7-0 in the division and 16-4 on theseason. Wesson falls to 6-2 in district play and 13-6 overall.

Jared Britt (6-1) took over for Hornet starter Jody Britt in themiddle of the fourth inning and finished with one strikeout, onewalk and five hits allowed. Britt also led his team at bat withfour singles.

Absorbing the loss was Kyle Smith (2-1) in relief of starterJoseph Langham. Langham struck out three, walked five and allowedfive hits. Smith finished with four strikeouts, four walks and fivehits allowed.

“Two good teams played their hearts out,” said Wesson head coachPhillip Knight following the loss. “It’s a shame somebody had tolose.”

In the first inning, Loyd Star loaded the bases with two outs.Cuevas ripped a hard double down the first base line to score threeruns before being tagged out at third base for the final out.

The Hornets tacked on two more runs in the top of the third on atwo-run homer over the centerfield fence by senior Jody Brit, for a5-0 lead.

The Cobras answered withtwo runs in the bottom of the third tocut the deficit to 5-2. Senior Tom Burgess led off with a single.Ryan Williams drilled a double to score Burgess for the first run.Chris Peets singled and moved Williams to third base. Peyton Warrenhit a single to score Williams for the second run.

Wesson picked up three big runs in the bottom of the fourthinning to tie the game at 5-all. With two out, Burgess walked andNick Gunter doubled to score Burgess and cut the deficit to 5-3.Williams drilled a two-run homer to tie the game.

Following a scoreless sixth inning. Loyd Star scored one run inthe top of the sixth to take a 6-5 edge over Wesson. Whatley belteda triple and stole home plate on a wild pitch.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Cobras exploded four four runsto take a 9-6 lead over the Hornets. Williams led of with a tripleand Langham singled to score Williams to tie the game 6-6. Peetswas safe on an error. Langham and Peets advance to third and secondfollowing a missed pickoff by Jared Britt. Justin Smith singled toload the bases. Kyle Smith hit a blooper to score Langham for the7-6 lead. With the bases still loaded, senior Russell Robinson hita hard shot to the right field wall that scored two more runs andgave the Cobras a three-run, 9-6 lead.

In the junior varsity game, Wesson knocked offLoyd Star 8-1.

Wesson visits St. Andrew’s Friday for another division contest.The varsity game begins at 3 p.m. followed by the junior varsity at5.