Bulldogs, Panthers, Cougars capture wins; Bears fall in Classic
MONTICELLO-The Franklin County Bulldogs and the Ole Brook Panthers were among the winners in Day Four of the Southwest Mississippi Spring Break Baseball Classic at Lawrence County’s Jimmie Davis Park.
Franklin County claimed two Thursday wins, edging South Pike 8-5 in the first game of the day, and hammering host Lawrence County 16-8 later in the day. The Brookhaven Panthers handled South Pike 10-2 in the second game of the day. Natchez Cathedral beat West Lincoln 7-3 in the third of Thursday’s five games. In the final game of the day, Lawrence County edged Hazlehurst 10-9.
“We had a good day, but a very long day,” said host coach Cory Keyes of Lawrence County. “The weather was perfect, couldn’t have been any better. It’s been a great week. We hope to finish on a high note on Friday.”
The Classic has featured 17 high school baseball teams, with a total of 23 games scheduled. One game was lost to inclement weather on Tuesday, but with the forecast good for Friday, it looks as though this year’s bash will feature a record 22 games.
West Lincoln and Tylertown were slated to begin Friday play at 10 a.m. Brookhaven and Loyd Star were scheduled to go at it in Game Two. At about 2:30, West Lincoln will take on Salem. The busy week will conclude with Ole Brook taking on Tylertown at about 5 o’clock, and host Lawrence County playing West Jones at about 7:30.
FRANKLIN CO. 8, SOUTH PIKE 5
In Thursday’s early game, South Pike scored 4 in the bottom of the first to grab a 4-1 lead, but Franklin County battled back to earn the win. South Pike miscues were key to the Franklin County comeback. Five of the Eagles’ 6 errors came in the Bulldogs’ final two at-bats.
Hoby Mullins, Ethan Verdin, Benard Selmon, Graham Cowart, Will Moffett, Bryce White and Dematre Collins had hits for Franklin County. Mullins was the third Bulldog pitcher and got credit for the win.
Jeffery Pace led South Pike with 3 hits, and Kedarious Varnado added 2. The Eagles banged out 10 hits in the loss. Pace was the tough-luck loser.
BROOKHAVEN 10, SOUTH PIKE 2
In Game Two, Brookhaven and South Pike were tied at 1-1 through two innings. After that, Randy Spring’s Panthers scored 9 runs in their final four at-bats.
Freshman southpaw Penn Wilson was outstanding for the Panthers. In 6 innings, he gave up just 3 hits and struck out 8. Wilson did not walk a batter.
Myles Tipton and Nick Kesler led Ole Brook with 2 hits each. Landon McCullough, Brett Spring, Scotty Bateman, Stone Case and Wilson each got 1.
Ray Tapp, Kaderious Varnado, and Blake Lantrip had hits for South Pike.
NATCHEZ CATHEDRAL 7, WEST LINCOLN 3
Game Three saw the Cathedral Green Wave jump to a 5-0 lead, then hold off West Lincoln. Sam Parker threw a 7-innning complete game to earn the win. He struck out 6. Ty Brown and Jacob Jenkins led Cathedral with 2 hits each.
Tyler Moak led West Lincoln with 2 hits. Brady Wilson, Jeremy Burns, Bryce Temple and Ty Forman also hit safely. Wilson started on the mound and struck out 8 in 5 innings, but was saddled with the loss. Tanner Boutwell worked the final inning.
FRANKLIN CO. 16, LAWRENCE CO. 8
In a high-scoring Game Four, Lawrence County led Franklin County 6-4 through four innings, only to see the Bulldogs score 12 runs in their final 3 at-bats. Franklin County banged out a whopping 15 hits in the game.
“We just couldn’t get them out,” said long-time LCHS assistant Craig Davis. “I thought our guys battled hard throughout, and we had some rookies that gave us positive innings and at-bats, but we just couldn’t get them out.”
Ethan Verdin and Conner Quinn led the Bulldogs with 3 hits each. Derrick Brumfield, Will Moffett, Bryce White and Graham Cowart each banged out 2 hits. Benard Selmon also hit safely. Brumfield pitched the full seven innings for the Bulldogs.
Freshman Marcus Atterberry led Lawrence County with 4 hits. Will Jackson added 3, and T-Tez Cole got into the multiple hit column with 2, including a third-inning solo homer. Seth Bass, Kasey Durr, Logan Greenlee and Gabriel Lewis also had hits.
Left-hander Joshua Stephens worked 5 gutsy innings for the Cougars, but was tagged with the loss. Three other Lawrence County hurlers made their varsity pitching debut in the game.
LAWRENCE CO. 10, HAZLEHURST 9
The Thursday finale didn’t end until a little after 11 p.m. It wasn’t a masterpiece, but the host LCHS Cougars battled from behind to claim a much-needed win.
Hazlehurst led 6-1 midway through the second inning, but Lawrence County scored the next 8 runs to grab a 9-6 lead. Hazlehurst battled back to tie it at 9-9 in the Indians’ final at-bat, but Lawrence County won on a bases-loaded walk.
“This was an ugly high school baseball game, but I’m glad we won it,” said Davis. “We were down 6-1 and could have folded our tents, but our guys just don’t do it that way. Our execution is mediocre-to-bad so far, but the effort the guys give us is outstanding. Coach Keyes and I appreciate that. With that kind of effort, we’ll get better.”
Kody Smith and T-Tez Cole led Lawrence County with 2 hits each. Marcus Atterberry added 1 hit. Logan Greenlee pitched the bulk of the game for the Cougars, but it was Will Jackson, who struck out the only batter he faced, who got credit for the win.
Jarvis Warner had 2 hits for Hazlehurst. Johnkil Skiffer and Darius Washington each had 1 hit. Nick Smith worked 4 credible innings on the mound. Warner suffered the loss in relief.