Bears rally past BC on Senior Night

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, April 8, 2009

West Lincoln pitcher James Magee and his six senior teammatesdidn’t disappoint the home crowd on a chilly Tuesday night. Mageepitched a 3-hitter and the Bears rallied for a 15-3 victory againstthe Bogue Chitto Bobcats in a Division 8-1A baseball showdown in 5innings on Senior Night.

West Lincoln (9-5, 7-2) gained a share of the second place rungwith Bogue Chitto (7-5, 7-2) as the division race winds down. TheBears visit the Bobcats Thursday night for a rematch, starting withthe varsity game at 4 p.m. West Lincoln hosts Salem Saturday nightand Monday.

With the temperature hovering in the low 40s, Magee managed tostrike out 6 batters and walk 2. Locked in a 2-2 tie, the Bearsexploded for 9, third-inning runs, highlighted by Tyler Case’sbooming 2-run homer over the center field fence.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Magee (2-4), a 5-foot-7, 140-pound senior, said he kept theBobcats off balance with his curveball. “I’m glad to get a win onSenior Night,” said Magee. “My curveball was working pretty well.When we got those runs, we got pumped up.”

West Lincoln coach Steve Barrington said Magee pitched well.”James threw strikes and he was consistent around the plate. He’shad some tough losses this year.”

Relief pitcher Brett Rushing sealed the deal with 1 inning ofrelief. He allowed 1 run and fanned 1 batter.

Rushing, usually an infielder, was working behind the plate asteammate Zach Williams recovers from a broken bone in his glove(left) hand. Williams, a 4-year starting catcher, sustained theinjury in last week’s loss to division-leading Natchez Cathedral.Rushing and Williams have both signed baseball scholarships withCopiah-Lincoln Community College.

Barrington’s pitching staff is depleted because Case isrecovering from a torn MCL in his right arm.

Seth Avants (3-2) started on the mound for the Bobcats. Thesenior right-hander was lifted in the third after Case’s homer putthe Bears up 10-2. Avants gave up 10 runs and 6 hits, fanning 3 andwalking 2.

Cole Laird replaced Avants and was relieved in the fourth byHunter Ginn. He was greeted by Case’s 2-run double, pushing theBears ahead 14-2. Rushing followed with an RBI single to center,plating his team’s final run.

Bogue Chitto first-year coach Curt Crain was disappointed by histeam’s defeat. The Bobcats still have 2 games with undefeatedCathedral on their menu next week. The top 2 teams in the divisionwill host opening round state playoff games. Third and fourth placeteams must travel.

“We put the ball in play the first couple of innings,” saidCrain. “West Lincoln has a lot of leadership with those sevenseniors in their lineup. We only have two seniors.”

The Bobcats scored twice in the first inning. Colt McClendonslapped a bases-loaded, opposite field double to the right-fieldfence.

In the second, West Lincoln gained a 2-2 deadlock. After ZachWilliams was hit by a pitch, he stole second base. James Mageeprovided an RBI single to left, tying the score.

In the third, West Lincoln went ahead 3-2. Rushing lashed afull-count single past the shortstop and scored on an RBI single byMicah Bivens. Matt Magee and Zach Williams followed with RBIsingles and it was 5-2.

Junior Varsity Action

In the preliminary JV game, Bogue Chitto beat the Bears 7-5 asZach Avants pitched the win. Jacob Lea absorbed the loss.

At the plate, BC got a double from James Wilson. Landon Roberts,Max Adams and Avants singled.

The Bears got a triple from Zach Bowman. Lea, Sawyer Evans,Landry Barrilleaux, Jonathon Buckley, Sam Bivens and TannerBoutwell singled.