Pirates leap No. 1 Warren Central

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 16, 2001

Corey Hughes of Pearl leaps over Warren Central catcher Kevin Coker and knocks the mitt and ball from his hand to score a run in the third inning. (The Vicksburg Post/C. TODD SHERMAN)

[04/16/01] The Warren Central Vikings committed five errors, three in one inning, and managed only four hits in their 6-2 loss to Pearl (26-6) Saturday at Viking Field.

It was the Vikings’ second straight loss.

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Woodlawn, the top-ranked team in Louisiana Class 4A, ended WC’s winning streak at 18 games Friday.

During the two-game losing skid, the Vikings (28-3) have been outhit 22-6 against the two left-handed pitchers they have faced.

But WC coach Sam Temple, whose team finishes the regular season against defending Class 4A champion Cleveland on Monday, isn’t worried going into the playoffs. WC will host Starkville for the best-of-three series starting Thursday.

“This bunch’s biggest attribute is the way they play and their intensity and it just wasn’t here today,” Temple said. “Baseball is a long season and we just got to get back in there and get after it … I expect a different ballclub Monday.”

Kyle Simmons took the loss, allowing seven hits and three runs while striking out four in five innings. Andrew Simmons allowed three runs off of four hits in relief.

Brian Pettway had two of the Vikings’ four hits, including a double. Brent Towne had a double and two RBIs.

Jake Bell got the win. He pitched the complete game, striking out six and walking three. Bell also had two hits and an RBI.

“He is a good left-handed pitcher and he is their ace,” Temple said. “We’ve faced people’s aces all year and he is one the better ones in the state.”

“Hopefully, these lefties that we have seen today and Friday will help us be a better ballclub come Thursday.”

The Pirates led 3-2 in the fifth inning and were threatening to score with runners on second and third with no outs. But Marc Chisolm flied out to right field and John Morgan Mims gunned down the runner at home, then Kyle Simmons coaxed a groundout to escape the inning.

Three errors in the Vikings’ infield in the sixth inning helped the Pirates score three more runs to beat the Vikings, who are ranked No 1 in The Clarion-Ledger and No. 12 in USA Today.

“We just got the breaks today and they didn’t,” Pearl coach Tim Dowdy said. “We played errorless defense for the first time all year long.

“I tip my hat off to Warren Central. I do believe that they are the best team in the state and I do think they will win state 5A title this year,” he said. “We are not going face a team as good as this in the North 4A.”