Wesson, Brook, Mendenhall in tourney wins

Published 7:00 pm Tuesday, March 12, 2013

MONTICELLO – Wesson, Brookhaven, and Mendenhall were the winners on opening day of the 2013 Southwest Mississippi Spring Break Baseball Classic, playing throughout the week at Lawrence County’s Jimmie Davis Park.

Mendenhall won twice on Monday, beating both Loyd Star (11-8) and host Lawrence County (8-7). The Ole Brook Panthers claimed a 10-3 win over South Pike, but dropped a 6-5 decision to Wesson in the final game of the evening. Wesson overcame a 5-0 deficit to get that win.

The first scheduled game, pitting South Pike against the Hazlehurst Indians, was cancelled due to overnight and early morning rains. Fifteen more games are scheduled for today through Friday, and the weather appears to be cooperative. This is the third straight year Lawrence County has hosted such an event during spring break.

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“It was a good day at our ballpark,” said ninth-year Lawrence County coach Cory Keyes. “It’s unfortunate that we had to scratch that first game, but it was unavoidable. We had a good day of baseball after that. We love having all of our neighboring schools at our place.”

Mendenhall 8, LCHS 7

Keyes’ Cougars hosted Mendenhall in the third game of the day, and the visiting Tigers clawed out an 8-7 win in a spirited contest. Lawrence County scored 6 in the bottom of the fourth to grab a 7-5 lead, but Mendenhall responded with 2 in the fifth, and won it with a run in the sixth. The game lasted only 6 innings, as the tournament games are on a time limit.

Mendenhall’s Austin Odom went 4-for-4 to lead the Tigers. Julius Craft added 3 hits, including a double and a triple. Odom also worked a scoreless bottom of the sixth, earning a save. Michael Everett, who worked 1 and 2/3 innings in relief of starter Michael Barlow, was credited with the win.

Third baseman Will Jackson led Lawrence County with 2 hits. Hunter Stephens pitched 5 innings and gave it a good fight, but was tagged for 7 runs on 11 hits. Jordan McCaffrey worked the sixth, and was saddled with the loss. The close loss was the continuation of an uncharacteristic tough start for the Cougars, who fell to 3-6 on the season.

“Our guys played hard,” said long-time LCHS assistant Craig Davis, “and we probably swung the bats better than we have all season. But we’re doing just enough bad things to lose. Tonight, it was some key errors. We’re not strong enough to be able to overcome much bad stuff. We’ve got to play solid to have a chance.”

There were a total of 9 errors in the game, with Mendenhall committing 5.

Mendenhall 11, Loyd Star 8

In the first game of the day, Mendenhall took advantage of 11 Loyd Star errors in an 11-8 win. Second baseman Devin Zattoni had 4 hits for the Tigers.

Logan Smith led Loyd Star with 3 hits. Braden Smith added 2.

Action was slated to begin today at 10 a.m. In the fourth of five games, slated to begin at 4:45, Lawrence County hosts Franklin County.