Martin fans 13 batters in BC’s victory over Panthers

Published 6:00 pm Sunday, May 8, 2011

BOGUE CHITTO – Pitcher Michael Martin overcame a slow start andbegan mowing down the French Camp Academy Panthers Friday night onStanton Long Field. The right-handed senior recorded 13 strikeoutsin a 4-hit mound performance and the Bobcats cruised to a 10-4triumph.

Game 2 in the best-of-three Class 1A state playoff series wasplayed Saturday night at French Camp (12-7) and the Bobcatsprevailed 6-4. Bogue Chitto advances to the South statechampionship series this week against the winner of the NatchezCathedral-Nanih Waiya seris.

B. Chitto 10, French Camp 4

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“My curveball was working and I throw it about half the time,” saidMartin. “As long as we stay together as a team, we have a goodchance in the playoffs. If we keep our minds right, we should beOK.”

Martin walked the first two batters he faced and then gave up anRBI single to Grady Henderson. However, BC coach Jody Britt calledfor a timeout and asked the umpires to inspect Henderson’s bat. Theexamination determined the bat to be illegal and Henderson wasdeclared out. Base runners returned to their bases.

Martin struck out the next 5 batters he faced and French Camp neverrecovered.

“Michael struggled early but then he found his rhythm,” said CoachBritt. “Our guys played hard through some adversity tonight. FrenchCamp made some great defensive plays, including a tripleplay.”

A strong odor, emitted from BC’s septic treatment tanks locatedjust west of the playing field, inundated the atmosphere for mostof the game. The Panthers played exceptional defense and turned atriple play in the second inning.

The Bobcats (21-6) took a 1-0 lead in the second. Martin led offwith a first-pitch double to the left-center field fence offstarting pitcher Hagan Box. Brock Roberts followed with an RBIsingle to left and Martin made a head-first slide across home plateto beat the throw.

In the third, Zach Avants ignited a 4-run BC explosion with a solohomer over the right-center field fence. Garrett Wallace drew abase on balls, Colton McClendon beat out a bunt to the shortstopand Hunter Ginn lashed an opposite-field single for a 3-1 lead.Martin continued the surge with an RBI single and Roberts hit anRBI single to right, making it 5-1,

Brad Palmertree moved from shortstop to the mound and replaced Boxin the bottom of the fourth. The Panthers rallied within 1 run,5-4, on Desmond Grayson’s RBI, 5th- single.

In the fifth, BC plated 2 insurance runs as McClendon walked andGinn reached on an error. Martin helped his cause with a 2-RBIdouble and it was 7-4.

French Camp coach Nathan Wright watched his team commit two errorsand help the Bobcats score 3 more runs in the sixth.

Palmertree was charged with 8 runs. He walked 3 and fanned 1.

Bogue Chitto 6, French Camp 4

Zach Avants pitched a 4-hitter against French Camp and kept thePanthers in check. He struck out 5 batters, hit 1 batter and walkednone.

“It’s a good win for us on the road,” said Coach Britt. “Zachpitched well for us.”

The Bobcats will be on the road again Thursday and host Game 2 onFriday.

At the plate, McClendon collected 2 doubles for the Bobcats as theytook a 3-0, third-inning lead. Martin tripled and singled. BryceRoberts had 2 hits for the winners.