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Terry hands WC 1st loss

Van Pope of Terry looks up at umpire Mario Jones, who calls him out at second in the top of the fifth inning. Warren Central shortstop Joey Lieberman (7) tagged him out on a pickoff from pitcher Taylor Tankersley. (The Vicksburg Post/MELANIE DUNCAN)

[03/12/01] Warren Central did not get back from a doubleheader in the Delta until about 1 Saturday morning. Going by Saturday’s performance against Terry, the bus the bats were on didn’t make it back at all.

The Vikings (9-1) managed just four hits against Terry pitcher Nathan Sanders and dropped their first game of the season, 3-1, at Viking Field.

“There are no excuses for today none,” Warren Central coach Sam Temple said.

“We came out today and I didn’t think we were into it like we should have been. That is not characteristic of this ballclub.”

Brent Towne’s two-out home run pulled the Vikings to within 3-1 in the fourth inning, but WC stranded runners at second and third to end the rally.

Sanders, who struck out nine and walked four, got out of the biggest Bulldogs’ (9-2) jam in the bottom of the fifth.

After walking Tyler DeRossette and Taylor Tankersley, coach Jerry Gibson almost made a pitching change, but he stuck with the Meridian Community College.

“After I walked Tankersley, I thought I was going to get pulled,” Sanders said. “Coach told me to get a ground ball and I did.”

After retiring Chris Hite, Sanders walked Kevin Coker to load the bases for Brian Pettway, who entered the game hitting well over .500. Sanders coaxed a double play groundout to again end the WC rally.

“That was the play of the game,” Gibson said. “To get a win against this team on this field is saying something.”

The Bulldogs, whose only losses were to Pascagoula and Slidell, La., scored a pair of runs in the top of the first against Pettway, who suffered his first loss of the season.

Corey Ezell and Van Pope hit back-to-back singles and Sanders walked to load the bases with no outs. Chris Snell’s two-RBI double gave Terry a 2-0 lead. Pettway got Jobe Allen to ground into a double play to end the inning.

Adam Davis added an RBI single in the top of the fourth for a 3-0 lead. Taylor Tankersley pitched the final three innings for WC, allowing two hits and striking out six.

“We were kind of going through the motions,” Temple said. “You go through the motions in this ballgame, you get beat, especially against a team like we played today. Terry has got a very good ball team.

” … We just couldn’t score any runs. I hate to see it, but it may be just what we need to wake up.”

DeRossette hit a double, while Tankersley and Joey Lieberman each had a single in the lowest offensive output of the year.

“We came over here wanting to whoop ’em,” Gibson said. “They 10-runned us last year and we had eight seniors. We’re starting over now.”

The Vikings, who have a full week of games scheduled for this week, will not have a repeat performance, senior Kevin Coker said.

“We waited way too long to try to rally,” Coker said. “We tried to rally in the fifth and sixth when we should have been rallying since the first … No loss is good, but I think it lit a fire under us. Even the best teams lose. You can’t win them all.”