Pigott cools Lawrence Co.; Maroon Tide takes opener

Published 5:00 am Monday, May 5, 2003

MONTICELLO – When Klein Harbour launched a first-inning,towering 2-run homer into the windows of the old gymnasium behindthe right-center field fence, Lawrence County fans hoped theoffensive fireworks would continue Thursday night at Jimmie DavisPark. It didn’t.

Picayune southpaw Justin Pigott gathered himself and allowedjust 2 more hits the final 6 innings, directing the Picayune MaroonTide to an 8-2 triumph over the Cougars in the opening game of theSouth State 4A championship series. Pigott recorded 5 strikeoutsand did not issue a base on balls.

Picayune (24-3) hosts Lawrence County (22-13) Saturday for a 2p.m. contest. If the Cougars win, a third game would be playedMonday night, at Monticello.

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Picayune, the defending state champion, unleashed an impressivebattery against starting pitcher Casey Williams and relief pitchersLuke Watts and Jake Russell. The Tide finished with 14 hits,including 3 doubles.

“Pigott’s a bulldog,” said Lawrence County head coach ChrisClark. “I knew he pitched last Friday and he threw Monday inrelief,” when the Tide eliminated Vancleave. “He kept us offbalance. He’s a competitor.”

Williams (9-3), a junior right-hander, lasted 4 innings. He gaveup 10 hits and 5 runs, striking out 5 and walking 4.

“Casey didn’t have his best stuff tonight,” said Clark. “Weseemed to get behind in the count, almost automatically.”

Harbour’s long home run knocked out a window in the second levelof the old gym. The Cougars would manage just 3 more hits, singlesby David Gilbert, Cory Rogers and Marlon Stanfield.

“Pigott is a good pitcher but we didn’t play that well,” saidRogers. “I think the Brewer guy from Raymond is a much betterpitcher.”

Pigott, a Mississippi State signee, throws in the mid 80s. Hesaid he didn’t pitch his best against Lawrence County.

“I left the ball right down the middle on that home run,” saidPigott. “I was behind in the count.

“We worked on outside pitching them,” said Pigott. “They hit 10ground balls to second base. I threw a lot of curves andchangeups.”

The Tide took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. An oppositefield single to right by Chris Stewart drove in 2 runs.

Picayune pulled ahead 3-2 in the second. Ryan Davis singled tocenter and advanced on a sacrifice fly by Pigott. Richard Imhofffollowed with a long RBI double down the right field line.

In the third, Picayune plated 2 more runs. With 2 away, MichaelRigney doubled down the left field line. Josh Guy singled homeRigney. Guy scored the fifth run on a passed ball.

Picayune coach Kent Kirkland said he was pleased with his team’sperformance. “Lawrence County got two runs in a small ballpark.Justin settled down, got in a groove and pitched a great game. Ourdefense could have been better.”

Kirkland, in his 12th year at the helm, said the Cougars wouldplay hard against his team Saturday. “I’m happy we are at home andI sure don’t want to come back here. I know they have nothing tolose and they’ll come out Saturday ready to play.”

Luke Watts, a sidearm specialist, relieved Williams in thefifth. He gave up 2 runs on 3 hits in the sixth.