New’s grand slam sinks BA Cougars
NATCHEZ — You really could have froze time Friday night whenT-Boy Lynch back pedaled to the fence and reached up to grab a flyball off the bat of Adams Christian’s David New.
Time, it seemed at that point, stood still. Lynch put his gloveover the fence, reached back but pulled back an empty glove. New’sshot that may have been more off the handle of the bat thananything found its way over for a walk-off grand slam to give theRebels a 13-10 win in eight innings for the South State AAchampionship.
It was New’s third home run of the game, the Rebels’ secondcomeback and the last of several big plays in a game that many inattendance won’t forget anytime soon.
“I like these kinds of games,” said Cole Bradford, who watchedNew’s homer get past Lynch from second base. “They’re intense.That’s what you play for. I was sitting there looking at it, and Ithought he had it. His glove came back, but it was over. He hadthat shoulder surgery, and now he’s hitting well. He’s comingthrough for us.”
The thought of what could have been had New got a solid lick onit and eliminate all doubt maybe would have taken from the drama.He had two homers in his first three at-bats on shots that were alittle more convincing than what he did on a 2-2 offering from PaulDavis.
Kind of like what happened the inning prior when he blooper asingle in shallow center just past a diving Ryan Vanderslice toscore Cole Bradford all the way from first and tie the game a 9-9and send it into extra innings.
“It didn’t get over by much,” New said. “I didn’t near about getall of it. I was just trying to keep it going. Just do anything youcan to get on base. If you’ve got to take a pitch, do what you’vegot to do.”
The shot was the final blow after the Cougars kept battling witheverything they had after trailing 8-2. They got a run in theeighth off reliever Brian Sanderson to get in position to win it inthe bottom half thanks to doubles from Keith Franklin and JeremyWinborne.
Paul Davis, who threw 144 pitches after entering in the third,walked Sanderson to lead off and even got slugger Timmy Foster tostrike out for the second out with Bradford at first and Sandersonat third. But he walked C.J. Wright to load the bases before facingNew.
“T-Boy said he didn’t touch it. It went right over it,” BA headcoach Stephen Cooksey said of New’s homer. “I can’t say enoughabout Paul Davis. He battled hard. It was a great ball game, andour kids fought hard.
“My seniors stepped up. It’s just a shame we didn’t win it. ButI can’t be more proud of my guys and how they handledthemselves.”
Credit Davis for never losing his composure and keeping theRebels in check after they went up 8-2 in the fourth. Brookhavengot five runs in the sixth off Timmy Foster that was good for a 9-8lead, and Davis got Luke Brumfield to fly out to center to end thesixth with runners on second and third.
Bradford reached base on an error to lead off the seventh, butDavis retired sluggers Foster and Wright before New’s looper pastVanderslice scored Bradford to tie it up. The Rebels loaded thebases when Eric Perry was intentionally walked and Austin Weeks washit by a pitch, but Davis got Marcus Calcote to fly out to right toend the inning.
In the Cougars’ sixth, two errors allowed the first run to scorebefore Corey Dickerson singled in Steven Covington to trim the leadto 8-7. Paul Davis singled in Franklin to tie the score, andWinborne singled in Dickerson after the Rebels brought in Sandersonto take the lead. Adams got its runs in the early innings thanks toa two-run homer in the first from New, a two-run blast from Wrightin the second and another two-run homer from New in the fourth.
The Rebels (24-5 advance to the state finals to face SimpsonAcademy which swept Canton Academy for the North crown. BA finishesa great season 22-4.