Poplarville pinches Panthers

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, April 26, 2006

MONTICELLO — Poplarville’s Travis Magee scored the go-ahead runin the top of the seventh on a wild pitch, and the Hornets wereable to hold Brookhaven at bay during the sixth and seventhinnings. The green-clad Hornets barely escaped Jimmie Davis Parkwith a 5-4 win over the Panthers, thus eliminating Ole Brook fromthe Lawrence County Class 4A Regional baseball tournament.

Ole Brook, one of the top ranked teams in the state andSouthwest Mississippi, concludes its 2006 campaign at 23-7.

“You hate the way that it ended, but there are a lot of teamswho wish they were in our position,” said Panther head coach RandySpring, addressing his team following the game. “We had a greatseason.”

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Poplarville 5, Brookhaven 4

“Josh (Coone) pitched well enough for us to win the game,” saidSpring. “We had some mental letdowns on defense that cost us thegame.”

Coone tossed 5 1/3 innings, allowing 5 runs on 6 hits. He struckout 9, allowing no base on balls. Paxton King drew the start,throwing to Poplarville’s leadoff batter who grounded out. Kingthrew the final 1 1/3 innings.

Spring saw his runners in scoring position in the sixth andseventh innings. In the sixth, with Ole Brook trailing 5-4, BrandtHinton walked and moved to second on a single by Zach Watson. With1 out, King grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end theinning.

In the seventh, Cole Newell singled. Coone reached on fieldingerror by the Hornets. Garion Crockett hit a screaming line shot tocenter field that was caught by Tyler Childs. Then Childs threw tohis cutoff man, who in turn threw out the Panther base runner atsecond.

“We had the opportunities to win the game, but we did not makethe plays that we needed,” added Spring. “But I am proud of theguys. They played hard this year.”

The Panthers took a 1-0 lead in their half of the third on asolo home run by Co-Lin signee Brandt Hinton.

Poplarville responded in the fourth, taking a 2-1 lead. ThatcherLee singled and Seth Carver doubled. With 2 outs, JonathanAnderson’s base hit scored Lee and Carver.

Ole Brook tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the fourth, oncatcher Mitch Pappas’ solo blast to left field.

Spring talked about his senior class that won nearly 100 gamesin their tenure at BHS. They were sophomores when Ole Brook won thestate title in 2004.

“Our seniors contributed to the success of this program over thepast several years,” Spring said. “They have a District, SouthState and a state title during their time here.”

Spring and the BHS program will miss the services of seniorsCrockett, Marlon Dixon, T.J. Qualls and Hinton.