Rohrer’s rip lifts Gators over Greenville

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 4, 2001

[04/04/01] The Vicksburg Gators inched to the brink of a playoff berth with a 7-3 win over Greenville on Tuesday, but in VHS coach Jamie Creel’s eyes it was anything but a shining moment for his team.

John Rohrer’s two-run inside-the-park home run in the bottom of the fifth inning keyed a three-run rally that helped VHS (17-5, 3-2 Division 3-5A) pull away from the pesky Hornets and escape with the victory.

The win put the Gators within one division victory of a playoff berth, which they can earn next Tuesday at Gentry.

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“I don’t care who you come out to play, you better not play the game flat. And we played the game flat two games in a row, and that’s total disrespect for the game. And having baseball players like we have, I’m totally disappointed,” said Creel, who made his team run from foul pole to foul pole for about 10 minutes after the game. “I’m also disappointed in the fact that I probably didn’t do a lot of things to motivate these guys for these games. But in the same instance, the blame falls on all of us.”

Mitchell Beauman led VHS’ 10-hit attack by going 3-for-3 with a double, David Stagg went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI triple, and Ryan Grey and Justin Henry each had RBI singles.

But the Gators who also started slow before rolling to a 12-1 win over the Hornets in Greenville on Monday also came out flat and allowed Greenville (6-7, 0-5) to stick around longer than Creel wanted them to.

Greenville took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Rohrer and shortstop Justin Henry collided on a two-out pop up behind third base, allowing Darius Davis to score.

The Gators tied the game in the bottom of the inning when Paul Gorney walked and eventually scored on a wild pitch, then took the lead in the third when J.J. Brown singled, stole second, then scored from second on a wild throw back to the pitcher.

Grey’s RBI single later in the inning, and Henry’s RBI single in the fourth gave the Gators a 4-1 lead, but it was still uncomfortably close.

“Just lackadaisicalness in the field and in the dugout. People weren’t really into the game, and we didn’t come out here to put them down like we should have. We should have scored a lot more runs,” said VHS starting pitcher Bob Berry, who left after the second inning because of an ankle injury.

Greenville crept even closer in the fifth.

After Boo Hardy struck out the first two Hornet batters, he walked opposing pitcher Jontrell Wells before allowing a triple off the center field fence to catcher Melvin Bass. Greenville left fielder Lakendrick Jones followed with an RBI single to cut it to 4-3.

“We played competitively today, we just made some mental mistakes,” Greenville coach Jerome Daniels said.

One of those mental mistakes helped the Gators to finally put the game away.

Beauman led off with a double, and Stagg’s two-out triple scored courtesy runner Ben Shelton and extended the lead to 5-3, and Rohrer followed with a high fly ball to the gap in left center.

The lights over Bazinsky Field hadn’t been turned on yet, and Greenville center fielder Robert Luster never saw the ball. The ball rolled to the fence on two hops, and Rohrer circled the bases for an inside-the-park homer, extending the lead to 7-3.

“(Luster) was a substitute player, and he didn’t see the ball. He lost it. Those lights weren’t on and it was a cloudy day. Those are the breaks. We’ve been getting some bad breaks lately,” Greenville coach Jerome Daniels said.

Chris Middleton relieved Hardy to start the sixth, and had four strikeouts in two perfect innings to close out the Hornets.

Creel praised the relief work of Middleton and Hardy, but said he still wasn’t pleased with the team’s overall effort.

“I felt a little more comfortable (after the homer). I certainly didn’t feel comfortable 4-3,” Creel said. “It was a shame that we were able to come out here, and people had to pay to watch us play like we played today.”