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Wolves baseball drops two

CO-LIN MEDIA / NATALIE DAVIS / Southwest's Trey Wynn slides safely back to first base before the throw to Co-Lin first baseman Konner Burke (19).

CO-LIN MEDIA / NATALIE DAVIS / Southwest’s Trey Wynn slides safely back to first base before the throw to Co-Lin first baseman Konner Burke (19).

SUMMIT – It was the Southwest Mississippi Community College Bears that took round one of the Coca-Cola Challenge on Tuesday in Summit. The Bears swept Copiah-Lincoln, 5-3 and 8-4, in a MACJC South Division doubleheader.

Southwest 5, Co-Lin 3 

Southwest was propelled to the win by a pitching gem from freshman hurler Cliff Hurst. The Centerville Academy product struck out nine, walked two, and gave up five hits.

Co-Lin (7-15, 3-3) was led at the plate by sophomore shortstop Ryan Young. The Central Private alum went 2-for-3 with two singles and a run scored. Freshman outfield Adrian Brown went 2-for-4 with a single and a double. The only other Co-Lin hit was a single by designated hitter Blake Talbot.

Co-Lin, trailing 2-0 in the top of the fourth, got three runs in the inning to take their only lead of the game. Co-Lin catcher Logan Smith drew a walk to start the inning and was replaced by pinch runner Matthew Evans. Evans advanced to second after Dominic Savage, the next Co-Lin batter, was hit by a pitch. Young advanced the runners and moved to first base after successfully bunting for a hit. The next Co-Lin batter, Wesley Watts, hit a sacrifice fly to score Evans and advance the runners. Talbot would score Savage and Young on his single and the Wolves had taken a 3-2 lead. Hurst would stop the bleeding by settling down and getting two strikeouts to end the inning.

Southwest (9-11, 3-3) would go on to score two runs in the bottom of the fourth and one run in the bottom of the fifth to take the lead and the game. Freshman hurler Steven Chisolm took the loss for Co-Lin after pitching four innings and giving up four earned runs.

Southwest 8, Co-Lin 4 

Co-Lin faired better at the plate in game two, outhitting Southwest 8-7, but the Wolves committed a staggering seven errors that hindered any chances of gaining a split. Young and Colby Whitfield had two hits apiece for Co-Lin. Choc Hubbard and Konner Burke each hit a double for the Wolves. Co-Lin starter Shane Brown took the loss after giving up four earned runs in 5.1 innings of work.

Co-Lin trailed 2-0 until the top of the third. Whitfield started the inning off with a single and then moved to third on Burke’s double. Philip Lott hit a sacrifice single that scored Whitfield and moved Burke to third. It appeared that Southwest had the final out of the inning when Hubbard hit a long fly ball to the center field warning track. The Southwest fielder dropped the routine catch and Burke scored to tie the game at 2-2.

Co-Lin took a 3-2 lead in the fifth when Hubbard hit a double that scored Adrian Brown, but Southwest would quickly tie the game in the bottom half of the inning. The bottom of the sixth would be where the Bears did most of their damage, scoring five runs and creating a hole that Co-Lin would not be able to dig their way out of.

This is the 9th Annual Coca-Cola Challenge Powered by Powerade. As winners of the 2013 Challenge, Co-Lin can retain the trophy by gaining a series split. Games three and four of the series will take place on Saturday, April 12 in Wesson.

Co-Lin next plays on Saturday, March 22 when they travel to Raymond to take on the Hinds Eagles. First pitch of the divisional doubleheader is slated for 2 p.m.