WC’s Tankersley fans 15 in 3-1 win over Ouachita

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 15, 2001

Kevin Coker of Warren Central holds the ball up after colliding with Ouachita’s Joey Lee at home plate in the third inning. James Judge makes the out call. Lee was taken to ParkView Regional Medical Center for a minor neck injury. He was treated and released. (The Vicksburg Post/MELANIE DUNCAN)

[03/15/01] Professional scouts descended en masse again Tuesday night at Warren Central. They just didn’t stay long enough.

After the dozen or so left in the third inning, Taylor Tankersley, the University of Alabama signee they came to see, struck out 12 of the final 14 batters he faced and got timely hitting as the Vikings bounced back from their first loss of the year with a 3-1 win over Ouachita, La.

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“He was the best we’ve seen this year,” said Ouachita coach Jason Thompson, whose team fell to 9-3. “Our guys have competed all year, but tonight we couldn’t get the big hit. (Tankersley) had a lot to do with that, though.”

Tankersley fanned 15 for his third win of the season. He allowed just two hits, walked four and hit two batters in the first inning. The senior needed the strong finish as the WC offense continued its struggles.

The Vikings cranked out six hits led by Brian Pettway’s two doubles, a single and two RBIs. Pettway’s sixth inning, bases-loaded double scored Jeff Mitchell and Tyler DeRossette to give WC its first lead, 3-1.

“I came up with the bases loaded looking for a ball to drive,” Pettway said.

He took the one-out fastball to the wall in right-centerfield for what proved to be the game-winning RBIs.

“We had two big hits,” said WC coach Sam Temple, who had his team take batting practice from 9 a.m. Tuesday to lunch, then had them hit almost until just before gametime.

“Jeff Mitchell leads off with a hit and Brian Pettway gets the clutch hit. In a game like this, if they did get a hit, it would be a big one.”

Tankersley, who threw 126 pitches, retired the Lions in order n- all on strikeouts n to end the game.

“Coach said if we didn’t score (in the sixth), I would pitch the seventh, but wouldn’t go eight,” the senior lefty said. “I said, We’re gonna score.'”

The Vikings had to play catch-up again after Ouachita’s Todd Garvin scored on a John Collins RBI single in the top of the second.

In the third, the Vikings’ defense, as it has all season long, came up with the biggest play of the game. With one out, runners on second and third and Tankersley trying to find his control, Michael Hayward hit a high fly ball to right field. John Morgan Mims caught the fly, then rocketed a two-hopper to catcher Kevin Coker, who tagged out Joey Lee despite a collision at home.

Lee lay on the ground several minutes. He was taken to ParkView Regional Medical Center by ambulance where he was treated and released for a minor neck injury, Thompson said.

Mims’ throw played a part in the sixth inning again with the game knotted at 1 all. Robert Patterson laced a double into the right field corner, but Thompson held the speedy Hayward at third.

“There is no doubt that John Morgan’s throw was the reason he wasn’t sent,” Temple said.

Tankersley got Blake Buchanan swinging for the third time to end the sixth. Ouachita left five on base, while the Vikings stranded 12.

WC will host Airline of Shreveport, La., on Friday night at 7.