Loyd Star Hornets rally past Lawrence County

Published 5:00 am Monday, March 30, 2009

MONTICELLO – The Loyd Star Hornets hammered the Lawrence CountyCougars 12-5 in a Saturday midday contest at Jimmie Davis Park. TheHornets used a 6-run fourth-inning outburst to break open a tightgame, and never looked back.

With the win, Coach Jonathan Breakfield’s team improved to 10-5on the season, while Cory Keyes’ Cougars fell to 14-5. Both teamsare in the thick of their respective division races, and both facekey games in the coming days. Loyd Star will host Enterprise in aDivision 6-2A makeup game on Monday, and will host St. Joe onTuesday. Lawrence County will host McComb in an important Division6-4A game on Tuesday.

As for Saturday’s game, after falling behind 3-2 through 3innings, Loyd Star dominated Lawrence County after that. TheHornets used excellent defense, timely hitting, aggressive baserunning, and the pitching of T.J. Floyd to outplay the Cougars.

Floyd worked 6 strong innings. He scattered 8 hits, struck out4, walked 1, and hit 1 batter. He got solid defensive support fromhis teammates. Third baseman Tyler Case, who came in to pitch theseventh inning, was among the defensive standouts.

“T.J. did a good job for us,” Coach Breakfield said. “We’ve beenlooking for a weekend starter, and he stepped up for us today.

“Defensively, I thought we were a little sluggish early on, butit got better as the game went along. All in all, it was a goodday.”

The game began at 11 a.m., because Saturday night was prom nightat Loyd Star. The game was originally scheduled to be played atLoyd Star, but recent rainfall necessitated the move to LawrenceCounty, which has an infield tarp.

“I’m glad we got to play,” said Lawrence County’s Coach Keyes,”even though we didn’t play very well. We hadn’t played a game inquite a while, and we didn’t play much of one today. Hopefullywe’ll do better next week.

“Loyd Star was a few steps quicker than we were today. They mademore plays than we did, in all facets of the game.”

Carlton Parkman’s RBI double gave Lawrence County a 1-0 leadafter 2 innings. Loyd Star took advantage of 2 Cougar errors and aTravis Keene run-scoring double to grab a 2-1 lead in the top ofthe third.

In the bottom of the third, Lawrence County scored twice, thanksto a Wesley Wilson RBI single, and an errant pickoff attempt. TheCougars led 3-2 at that point. After that, the day belonged to theHornets.

Loyd Star scored 6 times in the top of the fourth. AnotherLawrence County miscue helped, but the Hornets also helpedthemselves even more. Two walks and a Marquis Hayes bunt singlestarted the rally. Consecutive hits by Floyd, Keene, Drew Weaver,and Cody Smith gave Loyd Star control of the game.

Leebo Bairfield’s run-scoring hit increased Loyd Star’s lead to9-3 in the top of the fifth. Lawrence County countered with 2 runsin the bottom of the inning as Conner Oakes, Tyler Reeves, andWilson had consecutive hits, and Dillon Lee added a 2-out,run-scoring single. The Cougars very nearly made a game of it, butCarlton Parkman’s long blast to left-center was held up by a stiffwind. A potential 3-run blast ended up in centerfielder J.J. Jones’glove, and that ended the minor rally.

Loyd Star put the game away for good by adding 3 more runs inthe top of the sixth, without the benefit of a base hit.

At the plate, Hayes, Bairfield, and Keene led the Hornets with 2hits each. Floyd, Weaver, Smith, and Korey Allen each got 1hit.

Conner Oakes continued to sizzle for Lawrence County, going3-for-3. Wilson and catcher Dillon Lee each had 2 hits. Parkman andLane Stephens each had 1 hit.

Oakes started for Lawrence County, and pitched better than hisresults showed. Willie Buckley relieved him during Loyd Star’s6-run, fourth-inning rally. Oakes was hurt by 3 errors on infieldground balls.