BHS, Wesson, Loyd Star, LCHS in tourney wins

Published 8:00 pm Tuesday, March 13, 2012

MONTICELLO-Lawrence County High’s Jimmie Davis Park was the place to be on Monday, for anyone who is a fan of high school baseball.  Lawrence County is hosting the Southwest Mississippi Spring Break Baseball Classic, which  consists of 16 games over four days.

     On Monday, there were 5 games, all featuring area teams.  The action started at 10 a.m. and ended shortly before 10 p.m.  Five more games are scheduled for Tuesday, with 3 each on Wednesday and Thursday.

     In Monday’s first game, Loyd Star edged McComb by a score of 10-8.  Next, North Pike exploded for 16 first-inning runs in a 17-0 demolition of McComb.  The third game of the day saw the Ole Brook Panthers bang out 12 hits in an 8-2 win over Bogue Chitto.  After that, host Lawrence County barely squeezed out an 8-7 win over Wesson.  In the final game of the evening, Wesson handled Copiah County rival Hazlehurst 8-2.

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     “It was a great day at Jimmie Davis Park,” said Lawrence County coach Cory Keyes.  “This is our second straight spring break to host a tournament of this magnitude-with this many teams and this many games-and it’s an absolute blast.  It’s a lot of work for a lot of people, but it’s also a lot of fun.”

Loyd Star 10, McComb 8

     In the opening game, Loyd Star scored the game’s final 5 runs to rally past McComb.  Taylor Jones had 2 hits and scored 3 runs to pace the Hornets.  Corey Funk also had 2 hits.  Caleb Yarborough earned the win in relief of starter Josh Hodges.  Alex Woodall had 2 hits, including a homerun, for McComb.

North Pike 17, McComb 0     Game 2 saw North Pike explode for 16 runs on 14 hits in the top of the first against rival McComb.  Brady Badon, Will Richardson, and Anthony Durr all each had 2 hits for George Lott’s Jaguars.  North Pike hurler Richardson gave up just 1 hit and struck out 3 in a 3-inning complete game. 

     McComb’s only hit was a second-inning single from Alex Woodall.  Tiger coach Brian Eby used 6 pitchers, 4 of them in the marathon first inning.

BHS 8, Bogue Chitto 1

     The Brookhaven Panthers saw their bats come alive against Bogue Chitto.  Ole Brook hit safely 12 times in 6 innings of batting.  Will McDowell had 2 doubles.  Drew Jones and Genoa Sartin also got 2 hits each.  Houston Case, J.B. Perkins, Andrew Culver, Dillon Newell, Seth Porter, and Peyton Clark also got hits for Brookhaven.

     Southpaw Andrew Culver (2-0) worked a solid 7 innings to earn a complete-game win.  He gave up 4 hits, walked 3 and struck out 11. 

     “We had a good day,” said Ole Brook mentor Randy Spring.  “Andrew gave us a strong game on the hill and we got 12 hits.  That usually adds up to a good day.”

     Bogue Chitto got 2 hits from second baseman Brock Roberts.  Shiloh Martin and Keith Wells also had hits for Coach Jody Britt’s squad.  Steven Ginn went 5 innings for the Bobcats and Nick Parker pitched 1 inning.

LCHS 8, Wesson 7

     The tightest game of the day was the early evening matchup between  Lawrence County and Wesson.  Lawrence County held a seemingly comfortable 8-3 lead through 4 innings, but Wesson scored 2 in the fifth and 2 more in the sixth to make things awfully interesting.  The game ended with the potential tying run on third base for the Cobras, when Quentin Munn grounded hard to LCHS shortstop Jackson Wall.

     Jordan McCaffrey and Hunter Stephens had 2 hits each for Lawrence County.  Jordan Grayson, Will Jackson, John Hedgepeth, Pat Valadie, and Cody Case also had hits.  Hedgepeth worked into the sixth inning to get the win for the Cougars.  Reid Graves recorded the final 3 outs to earn a save.  The win was the Cougars’ fourth straight, evening their record at 4-4 after an 0-4 start.

     “We were very fortunate to win the game,” said long-time LCHS assistant Craig Davis, “and Wesson was awfully unfortunate to lose it.  We had a lead for most of the game, but we failed to put them away, and they refused to go away.”

     Kaleb Skinner had 3 hits to place the Cobras.  Alex Smith and Bailey Warren had 2 hits each.  Paxton Cupit, Cullen Greer, Quentin Munn, and Jacob Fischer also hit safely.  Warren worked 4 innings and was tagged with the loss.  Mack Smith pitched 1 inning.

Wesson 8, Hazlehurst 2

     In the final game of the night, Seth Lofton’s Cobras bounced back for an 8-2 win over Hazlehurst.  Wesson exploded for 6 in the bottom of the third to take the lead and claim the victory.  Josh Smith and Kaleb Skinner had 2 hits each for Wesson.  Bailey Warren, Alex Smith, and Cullen Greer each had 1. 

     Skinner pitched 4 innings to earn the win.  Alex Smith worked the final 2.  Together, they gave up 3 hits, walked 4, and struck out 6. 

     Hazlehurst got base hits from LaDarrius Williams, Kenny Coleman, and JaQuavis Henley.  Four different hurlers saw mound duty for the Indians. 

     “We are just so honored to have all of these visiting players, coaches and fans at our place,” said LCHS assistant Davis.  “This is the second straight season we’ve done this, and we hope everyone has a positive experience here.  It makes for a long, exhausting spring break, but we have a ball doing it.

     “A lot of people help out, but I’d like to especially thank our players.  They were here at 8:30 this morning pulling a tarp with tons of water on it, and they were still here doing field maintenance after the last game.  They did a great job.”