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Bears, Hornets, Panthers, Cougars secure wins in Spring Break finale

DAILY LEADER / JONATHON ALFORD / Lawrence County's T-Tex Cole (right) helps his team record a double play Friday night against West Jones in the Southwest Mississippi Spring Break Baseball Classic, at Jimmie Davis Park.

DAILY LEADER / JONATHON ALFORD / Lawrence County’s T-Tex Cole (right) helps his team record a double play Friday night against West Jones in the Southwest Mississippi Spring Break Baseball Classic, at Jimmie Davis Park.

MONTICELLO-The 2014 Southwest Mississippi Spring Break Baseball Classic came to an end on Friday with five more games at Lawrence County High School’s Jimmie Davis Park. In all, the park hosted 22 games over five days (inclement weather caused the cancellation of 1 of the 23 scheduled games), and a total of 17 teams took part.

Friday’s first game saw a dandy pitchers’ duel between West Lincoln’s Tanner Boutwell and Tylertown’s Peyton Harvey. West Lincoln scored 2 late runs to win, 2-0. The second game of the day saw the Loyd Star Hornets have their way with the error-prone Brookhaven Panthers, winning 14-0. In game three, West Lincoln banged out 18 hits in a 14-6 win over Salem.

Next, Brookhaven rebounded from its earlier loss with a resounding 18-2 smacking of Tylertown. In the final game of the week, host Lawrence County got its biggest win of the season so far, riding the pitching of Will Jackson to a 5-2 win over West Jones.

“Obviously, we’re happy that our team had a good day,” said host coach Cory Keyes of Lawrence County, “but it was a great day and a great week all the way around. We were blessed with good weather for the most part, and I think the other teams and their fans enjoyed being here. This was a great event.”

This is the fourth straight season that Lawrence County High has hosted such an event during spring break.

WEST LINCOLN 2, TYLERTOWN 0 

In game one, West Lincoln got a 4-hit shutout from right-hander Tanner Boutwell. Boutwell was outstanding. He struck out 8 and hit 2 Tylertown batters. With Tylertown threatening in the top of the seventh, Bear center fielder Alex Neal threw out a Tylertown runner at the plate to end the game.

Boutwell also led West Lincoln in hitting, banging out 2 singles. Tyler Moak, Lofton Sill, and Ty Forman also had hits for the Bears. It was Forman’s RBI double in the bottom of the sixth that gave West Lincoln an important insurance run.

Tylertown pitcher Peyton Harvey matched Boutwell almost pitch-for-pitch. He limited West Lincoln to 5 hits, and struck out 4. Harvey also had a base hit. Gabe Johnson led Tylertown with 2 hits.

LOYD STAR 14, BROOKHAVEN 0 

Nothing went right for the Ole Brook Panthers in a noon time tilt with Loyd Star. The Hornets led 1-0 through two innings, then exploded for 5 runs on 3 hits in the top of the third. Loyd Star benefited from 4 Brookhaven errors in the inning. There was more of the same in the fifth, when Loyd Star tallied 8 more runs, on 5 hits and 3 errors.

Center fielder Seth Farmer had a big day, going 3-for-4 with a homerun and 3 runs batted in. Peyton Flowers and Levi Redd each had 2 hits. Caleb Yarborough, Brett Calcote, and Konner Allen also had hits for the Hornets.

On the mound, Loyd Star southpaw Caleb Yarborough was outstanding, limiting the Panthers to just 3 singles. He struck out 3 and got a solid defensive effort from his teammates.

Landon McCullough, Nick Kesler, and Garrett Smith had hits for Ole Brook. Scotty Bateman gave it a good effort on the mound, working four innings, but was hampered by the Panthers’ defensive miscues.

WEST LINCOLN 14, SALEM 6 

West Lincoln banged out 18 hits in a 5-inning win over Salem. The Bears led 8-0 after 2 innings, and had a comfortable lead when Salem put up a 5-run fifth.

Tanner Boutwell backed up his strong pitching effort by going 4-for-4. Catcher Brady Wilson added 3 hits. Tyler Moak and Ty Forman added 2 hits each. Bryce Temple, Jeremy Burns, Lofton Sills, Alex Neal, Tristan Roberts, Turner Pyles, ad Chris Buckles also had hits for West Lincoln. Burns went the full 5 innings to earn the win. He struck out 4.

Tanner Polk, who entered the game in relief of starter Jason Byrd, led Salem with 2 hits. Camden Gilmore, Austin King, Blane Bossier, Brandon Bergeron, and Ty Pezant also had hits for the Wildcats. The 6 runs Salem scored were the Wildcats’ first tallies of the season.

BROOKHAVEN 18, TYLERTOWN 2 

As badly as the earlier game went for the Panthers, everything went right in this one. Ole Brook scored 9 in the first, and 9 more in the third, to overwhelm Tylertown. Brookhaven banged out 11 hits in the 4-inning game, with all 11 coming in the two scoring innings.

Landon McCullough went 3-for-3 to lead the Panthers. Reed Jones, Brett Spring, and Penn Wilson each had 2 hits. Myles Tipton and Judson Henning also hit safely.

McCullough and Tipton each pitched 2 innings, combining on a 4-inning no-hitter. Two walks and 2 Panther errors combined to allow Tylertown’s second-inning runs.

LAWRENCE COUNTY 5, WEST JONES 2 

The final game of the week was one of the best, with Cory Keyes’ upstart Cougars edging powerhouse West Jones. The Mustangs entered with a 5-1 record, their only loss a late loss to Madison Central.

On Friday, the Cougars got 7 outstanding innings from senior right-hander Will Jackson, who scattered 5 West Jones hits, while striking out 2. Jackson had West Jones shut out until the seventh inning, when 2 hit batsmen and an infield error gave the Mustangs a bit of hope.

Lawrence County scored 1 in the first, and 3 in the second, to grab an early 4-0 lead. The Cougars tallied an insurance run in the fifth. Second baseman Kasey Durr was a defensive standout for LCHS.

Joshua Stephens led the Cougars, going 3-for-3, with an RBI. Jackson, Gabriel Lewis, Logan Greenlee, and Marcus Atterberry also had hits.

The win was the Cougars’ second in four games, in the tournament they host. After giving up 32 runs in losses to Magee and Franklin County, Lawrence County edged Hazlehurst 10-9 in Thursday’s final game. None of those games gave hint that the Cougars were capable of beating West Jones on Friday.

“Baseball can be a perplexing game,” said long-time LCHS assistant coach Craig Davis. “At times, we’ve looked downright inept, overmatched by the other team, and by the game itself. Tonight, we looked like a competent high school baseball team, and beat a very good team.

“There will be more frustrating nights – we’re still an incredibly green team, but tonight was special. I’m especially proud for Will (Jackson).”

Shortstop Aaron Waite was a standout for West Jones, both at the plate and in the field. Waite led the Mustangs with 2 hits. Starting pitcher Drew Fiala worked into the fifth inning and was the loser.

Lawrence County will be in action on Tuesday, traveling to North Pike for the start of Division 7-4A action.

DAILY LEADER / JONATHON ALFORD / Brookhaven's senior Landon McCullough powered the Panthers at the plate with a 3-for-3 performance against Tylertown Friday night at Monticello.

DAILY LEADER / JONATHON ALFORD / Brookhaven’s senior Landon McCullough powered the Panthers at the plate with a 3-for-3 performance against Tylertown Friday night at Monticello.