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Terry hands Panthers 7-1 loss in tournament finals

TERRY – The Terry Bulldogs captured the Division 6-4A BaseballTournament title with a 7-1 win over the Brookhaven Panthers Mondaynight at Bulldog Field.

The game was supposed to have been played Saturday, but due toheavy rains in the Jackson area; the game was canceled. Terry wasawarded the championship and Ole Brook the runner-up spot in adecision by the coaches. However, after a Monday morningconversation with the Mississippi High School ActivitiesAssociation, a MHSAA ruling was made that the game(s) had to beplayed.

The Panthers would have had to beat the Bulldogs twice to claimthe crown.

Brookhaven heads to the Gulf Coast Thursday to meet D’Ibervillein the opening round of the South State 4A playoffs. The Warriorscaptured the Region 7-4A tournament title with a 9-3 win overVancleave.

In other tournament action, Terry hosts Vancleave.

The Bulldogs (21-8) held the hot bats during the latter portionof the game. Panther sophomore hurler Nick Helmstetter used adifferent array of pitches to keep Terry working at the plate.

“Their guy (Helmstetter) kept us off balance all night,” saidTerry’s veteran head coach Jerry Gibson. “We were able to get thebig hits in the fifth.”

With his team leading 2-1 heading in the bottom of the fifth,Gibson’s ball club went to work. Leadoff batter Jonathan Pacesingled. Two batters later, catcher Rashun Dixon smashed a 2-runhomer over the left field fence.

In the sixth, Terry plated 3 runs to take a 7-1 lead. TheBulldogs found gaps in the Panther defense to the tune of 4 basehits. With the bases loaded and 1 out, centerfielder Antwon Dixonhad just stepped to the plate. Immediately after Helmstetterreleased the first pitch to Dixon, the field’s lights wentcompletely out.

After a 20-minute delay, it took just about 6 minutes to finishthe game.

“Not exactly sure what happened,” said Ole Brook head coachRandy Spring. “Both pitchers threw an outstanding game. We just didnot get the big hits when we needed.”

The Panthers (20-11) got their lone run of the game in thesecond. On a 3-1 pitch, third baseman Cole Newell belted a soloshot over the left field fence for a 1-0 lead.

The Bulldogs responded with a 2-run rally in the bottom of thesecond. Antwon Dixon and pitcher Bubba Davis each drew a base onballs. Garrett Reese doubled to score Dixon. Two batters later, WesPrice’s sacrifice fly to right scored Davis.

On the mound, Davis gave up 1 earned run on 5 hits. He walked 2and fanned 5 Panther batters, while going the distance (7innings).

Helmstetter took the loss in 5.1 innings, allowing 7 earned runson 8 hits, walking 5 and striking out 2. Brandon Foster made arelief appearance, getting the final 2 outs on a ground out and apopup.

“Nick did a good job for us tonight,” Coach Spring added. “Wehad a good pitching effort.”

Ole Brook also got singles from Elliot Warren and Bud Britt.Hitting doubles were Cody Ratcliff and Taylor Newman.

Pace led Terry with 2 singles and 2 runs scored.