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Southwest’s homers sink Co-Lin

SUMMIT – Shortstop Scoot McDaniel provided the heroics Wednesdaynight as the Southwest Mississippi Community College Bears sweptCo-Lin’s Wolfpack in the opening series of the Fifth AnnualCoca-Cola Classic Challenge. McDaniel’s walk-off, 2-run homer inthe bottom of the seventh inning lifted Southwest to a 4-3 triumphin the nightcap.

Southwest (19-14, 4-8) won the opener 11-10, powered by threehomers, two by Thomas Daughdrill. Co-Lin had rallied for three runsin the top of the seventh and left two runners stranded onbase.

“It was a great game but baseball is a game of ups and downs,” saidCase. “You have a lot of one-on-one matchups. Southwest got somebig hits so you have to tip your hat to them.

“We came back in the last inning of both games but came upshort.”

In a season of close setbacks, Co-Lin fell to 14-20 overall andslipped to 2-10 in the South. Co-Lin visits Pearl River Saturdayfor a South Division twinbill, starting at 1 p.m. The Wolves hostLSU-Eunice next Tuesday for a non-division twinbill, starting at 2p.m.

“Our kids played hard,” said Case. “They have to keep their headsup and play good baseball. You have to keep grinding and keeppushing. You never know when the door is going to open.”

Co-Lin had claimed the Classic’s bat trophy the last two years. The4-game series was split last year in Southwest coach LeeKurykendall’s first campaign. The final two games of the Challengewill be played May 1, at Co-Lin.

“It was hotly contested games,” said Coach Kurykendall. “Just a fewplays decided each game. We tell our players that this league islike the SEC. You have to play hard every game.”

Southwest 11, Co-Lin 10

Daughdrill, a sophomore leftfielder from Loranger, La., homered inthe second and fifth innings. Designated hitter Kyle Wheelerslugged a 3-run homer in the fourth off Co-Lin relief pitcher DrewWeaver.

The Wolves rallied for three runs in the top of the seventh butleft two runners stranded. For the game, Co-Lin left eight runnerson base.

“When you score 10 runs you are supposed to be able to win,” saidCase. “We left runners on base all day.”

Blake Herrin, a sophomore from Pearl River Central, picked up thewin in three innings of relief.

Co-Lin centerfielder Jeff DeBlieux collected 2 hits and 3 RBIs inthe opener. Catcher Ryne Tutor had 2 hits and 2 RBIs. Third basemanBud Britt hit a triple.

Southwest 4, Co-Lin 3

DeBlieux carried a 3-hitter into the bottom of the seventh. Twobatters were retired and he was facing a 3-2 count againstMcDaniel, a sophomore from Columbia who had three hits. Southwest’sKyle Adams had led off the bottom of the seventh with a single andadvanced to third base.

Co-Lin had rallied for two runs in the seventh. First baseman CableMcMinn delivered a 2-run triple for a 3-2 lead.

“Jeff pitched a great game and McDaniel had a big day at theplate,” said Case.

DeBlieux allowed five hits and four runs, striking out two, walkingthree and hitting one batter.

Blake Brown was the winning pitcher in relief of JustinFranciscato. Brown (1 K, 1 BB) gave up the 2-run triple.

“Blake had some tough losses this season,” said Kurykendall. “Hedeserved to win a game.”

In the second, Luke Brumfield’s RBI single scored Kendall Logan whohad doubled, gaining a 1-1 deadlock.

Southwest hosts Jones County for a 2 p.m. Saturday doubleheader atthe Southwest Baseball Complex.