Southwest edges Baton Rouge in 12 innings

Published 9:00 am Thursday, April 7, 2016

Shaking off a recent slump, the Bears picked up a thrilling 7-6 non-conference win at Baton Rouge Community College Wednesday evening when John Marcus McDowell scored on a two-out wild pitch in the top of the 12th inning.

The win moved the Bears to 17-11 on the season (they are 6-6 in the MACJC). Baton Rouge fell to 16-24.

“We’ve been struggling as a team over the last week,” said Bears’ head coach Ken Jackson, “Anytime you get a win against a quality opponent on the road it’s a positive thing (especially as the team goes) into a conference weekend against Northwest (the Bears host the Rangers for a 2:00 doubleheader Saturday). I think today we hit the ball hard at times. We got some key hits and manufactured some runs and hopefully that will carry over” to the rest of the season.

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The Bears took a 1-0, first-inning lead when Brady Anderson doubled to deep centerfield and scored on a Duncan Cornfoot single. The score went to 2-0 in the top of the third when Cornfoot again singled, this time scoring Jarvis Warner (on base via an error).

A single, error and sacrifice fly resulted in a run for BRCC in the bottom of the third and made the score 2-1.

The Bears made it 5-1 in their half of the fifth. Anderson singled and scored on a Darian Tunstall double (Anderson later added another single).Tunstall then scored on the first of two Steven Williams singles. Later in the inning, a Dylan Spiers sacrifice fly allowed Cornfoot, on base with a walk, to cross the plate.

BRCC picked up a run in the bottom of the fifth and two more in the sixth to draw to within a run at 5-4.

Tunstall led off the Bears’ seventh inning with a single and crossed the plate following Kaleb Clarke’s double to put the Bears up by two, 6-4. BRCC knotted the game at 6-6 in the bottom of the eighth, using a double, two singles and a sacrifice fly.

The game remained deadlocked until the 12th. Clarke led off the frame with his fifth hit, and second double, of the game. McDowell then entered the game as a courtesy runner and moved to third on Spiers’ sacrifice bunt before scoring the winning run.

Clarke gave up one hit and one walk in two innings on the mound to get the win in relief. Taking the mound in the bottom of the 12th, Leighton Whitehead retired three of the four batters he faced, allowing one hit, to record the save. Ross Buckley had a single in the game.

Commenting on the performance of Clarke, who is a resident of nearby Denham Springs, Bears’ assistant coach Justin Hay said, “It was nice to see Kaleb have a good day at the plate. We’ve been struggling a little bit, offensively, and it was nice to have somebody step up and have (the game that he had) and (also) get on the mound and pitch two innings and get the win.”