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Evans gains split for Co-Lin in Coca-Cola Classic

WESSON – Joseph (Red) Evans authored a triumphant performanceTuesday night in Game 2 of the Fourth Annual Coca-Cola ClassicBaseball Challenge. The sophomore right-hander produced a9-strikeout, 3-hitter in pitching the Co-Lin Wolfpack to a 4-1victory over the Southwest Mississippi Community College Bears.

In yesterday’s opener in Sullivan Stadium, Southwest pitcherTaylor Riggs authored a 5-hitter, leading the Bears to a 5-2victory. The Classic continues April 18 at Summit, when Southwest(12-16, 2-6) hosts Co-Lin (11-16, 4-6) for a South Divisiontwinbill, starting at 2 p.m.

“I’m proud of our guys because they battled back in the secondgame and got a split,” said Co-Lin coach Keith Case. “Red (Evans)did a great job. He battled and located his pitches well.”

Co-Lin 4, Southwest 1

Evans (3-1), a redhead from Monticello, threw his first completegame since sustaining a facial injury in a March 3 game atItawamba. Evans was hit in the face by a line drive, breaking hisnose. The injury required surgery and Evans has been wearing aprotective mask on the mound.

Co-Lin sprang to a 4-0 lead after 2 innings against Southweststarter Coty Saranthus, a sidearm specialist. Saranthus gave up 5hits, struck out 3 and walked 1 before sophomore Cole Newell ofBrookhaven replaced him in the fifth.

In the first inning, Co-Lin claimed a 2-0 lead. Mason Warrendrew a 1-out base on balls. Jarred Rogers singled and Cable McMinnfollowed with an RBI single to left. With 2-out, Kendall Loganreached on an error at first base and McMinn scored.

In the second, Luke Brumfield led off and was safe on an error.Matthew Freeman smashed a line drive past second base and it was3-0. Tyler Hue hit a dribbler past third base. Jeff DeBlieux laiddown a bunt toward third base to load the bases. Warren’s RBIdribbler made it 4-zip.

The Bears never solved Evans. They scored once in the sixthinning. Scoot McDaniel scored following an error and a passedball.

Southwest 5, Co-Lin 2

Riggs, a sophomore from Metairie, La., transferred to Southwestfrom Pensacola (Fla.) Community College. He struck out 2 batters,walked 1 and allowed 2 runs in 6 innings.

“I was able to get ahead in the count with my curveball,” saidRiggs. “I lost my fastball for a while but then I got it back.”

Asked about the home runs by teammates Eric Boyd and BrandonSimon, Griggs said, “Those homers made me feel good. I lovepitching with a lead.”

Boyd, a sophomore designated hitter from Tylertown, launched atowering 2-run homer off Co-Lin starter Ian Ferrell in the firstinning, aided by a strong wind blowing from right to left. His RBIdouble off the center field fence in the third inning gave theBears a 3-0 advantage.

In the sixth, Simon smashed a solo shot, his first career homer,pushing the Bears ahead 4-1.

“We got some runs early and got some momentum,” said first-yearSouthwest coach Lee Kurykendall. “Taylor had an outstanding game.He has lost some hard-luck games this season.”

Co-Lin ended its scoring famine in the third inning when KendallLogan lined a double over the centerfielder’s head, scoringDeBlieux. In the sixth, Jonathan Grace slugged a solo homer, makingit 5-2.

Case said starting pitcher Christian Malbrough was unavailablebecause of a virus he developed early Tuesday morning. Ferrell hadcontrol problems and the Bears capitalized.

“Ian didn’t locate his curve and they were hitting hisfastball,” said Case. “We didn’t do much offensively and Riggsthrew a really good ballgame.”