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Wolves split with Bears

Co-Lin pitcher Brandt Hinton had a good day and a painful day onthe mound. Hinton pitched a 4-hitter, striking out 7 and walking 2as the Wolfpack slugged Southwest Mississippi Community College’sBears 12-2 Tuesday in 5 innings on Sullivan Field.

Hinton (3-1) was hit twice on his lower right leg by battedballs during his time on the mound. On the first occasion, a smashby Southwest’s Bubba Boggs ricocheted off Hinton’s ankle, startingan unusual double play. Co-Lin third baseman Timmy Foster glovedthe ball on the fly and threw to first base, to double up MitchellYoung in the second inning.

“I was pretty excited about that double play,” said Hinton,smiling. “The first one (baseball) hit me on the inside,” of hisleg. “The second on the shin.”

Co-Lin (12-10, 1-1) wound up splitting the South Division openerwhich was designated as the Third Annual Cardiovascular Instituteof Mississippi’s Heart Challenge. The Bears prevailed 15-14 in thenightcap.

Hinton, a lanky 6-foot-5 sophomore from Brookhaven, had plentyof offensive support. A strong, gusting wind whipped across thefield from right to left and Co-Lin responded with 4 home runs, 2by outfielder Taebyus Smith. Josh Coone and Paul Davis alsohomered.

“The home runs were very helpful,” said Hinton. “The wind wasn’ttoo bad. It’s more of a mental thing. You have to make someadjustments.”

Smith, a sophomore right-fielder from Lawrence County, hit hisfirst 2 homers of the season. In the first inning, Smith launched a2-2 pitch off Southwest starter Cole Newell over the left fieldfence, giving Co-Lin a 3-0 lead

In the fifth, Smith greeted relief pitcher Chris Fleming with afirst-pitch solo shot. It was preceded by Davis who smashed a 2-runhomer off Newell. In a rare power display, Coone followed Smithwith a first-pitch homer.

“I think the wind had something to do with it,” said Smith. “I’mexcited about hitting two home runs.”

Co-Lin head coach Keith Case said the back-to-back-to-back homerun barrage was a first for him. “I’ve been coaching 26 years and Idon’t believe that’s ever happened to me. It felt good to be on theoffensive side.

“Toby’s (Smith’s) homer would have gone without any wind,” Casenoted. “Brandt will have a bruise tomorrow but he’s a toughcompetitor. His fastball got better at the end.”

Hinton struck out 3 of the 4 batters he faced in the fifth. TheBears scored twice in the fourth, cutting Co-Lin’s lead to 5-2.Shortstop Drew Richardson delivered a 2-RBI single up themiddle.

Co-Lin plated 7 runs in the fifth to evoke the 10-run rule.Steven Gauthe’s RBI single to right plated the 12th run.

Southwest 15, Co-Lin 14

Toby Easterly pitched the victory in relief as the Bears (7-11,1-1) gained a split. The CIM Challenge will resume Saturday, April12, at Summit.

We didn’t pitch well and we didn’t play defense well,” saidCase. “We had a 2-run lead going into the seventh when McBeth hithis 3-run homer.”

“We should have been out of it but we muffed a double-playball,. Six times we had base runners throrwn out or pickedoff.”

Case said the Bears played well. “Give Southwest credit. Theywent out there and got the hits and made the plays when they neededto.”

Third baseman Josh McBeth powered Southwest’s win with a homerun, 2 doubles and 8 RBI. Davis and Jordan Toney homered for Co-Linas the Wolves overcame a 10-2 deficit with a 9-run third.

Coone had 3 hits for Co-Lin. Jarred Rogers doubled andsingled.

Co-Lin left 8 runners stranded on base.

Co-Lin resumes play Friday, hosting two non-division gamesagainst two top-10 teams. The Wolves play Itawamba at 11 a.m. andLSU-Eunice at 5 p.m. Itawamba faces LSU-Eunice at 2 p.m.