Warren Central blasts Rebels for fifth straight

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 27, 2002

[03/27/02]When Brian Pettway noticed the flags at Viking Field blowing straight out, he had to smile.

A few minutes later, he got Warren Central started on another hitting exhibition in a division matchup with Forest Hill.

His first-inning home run and Jeff Mitchell’s third-inning grand slam shut the door on WC’s fifth straight division win, 8-0, over Forest Hill.

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The Vikings cranked out 12 hits, pushing their five-game total to 58.

“I get excited when the wind blows out,” Pettway said. “It’s always a good feeling as a hitter, but you still have to hit it.”

Pettway also stroked a single and had an RBI double in the sixth and WC rode the right arm of Carl Upton.

The senior scattered three hits over six innings to improve to 6-2. He struck out eight Rebels (15-8, 1-4) and did not allow a runner past second.

“It was too much Warren Central tonight,” Forest Hill coach Tommy Groves said. “It was Carl Upton and good hitting.”

Pettway’s blast, combined with an RBI single by Chris Hite in the second, gave WC a 2-0 lead.

Losing pitcher Calvin Triplett loaded the bases in the bottom of the third with two outs until Mitchell blasted a grand slam to vault the Vikings to a six-run lead.

“We really felt good at 2-0,” Groves said. “Even though we are not swinging the bats real well right now, we always feel like we’re going to score some runs. That home run hurt our comeback chances against top-level pitching.”

Upton’s pitching combined with the six-run cushion also pushed the Vikings toward their fifth straight division title. With a win over rival Clinton on Tuesday, the Vikings will clinch the division title outright. They have already beaten Vicksburg and Forest Hill twice.

“We’d much rather watch them beat each other up than be in with them,” WC coach Randy Broome said with a chuckle.

Warren Central will host Hattiesburg on Friday at 2 p.m. It will be the Vikings’ last game before the key home matchup with the Arrows on Tuesday Broome’s birthday.

But WC had to finish off the Rebels, who came in ranked No. 11.

WC added a run in the bottom of the fifth on a Jeremy Ferguson RBI single and Pettway’s RBI double he was a triple shy of the cycle in the sixth gave WC an 8-0 lead.

Upton hit two batters and walked one over six innings before giving way to Pettway, who retired the Rebels in order to end the game.

“With his stuff or without it, Carl is going to put us in a position to win … ,” Broome said.

Triplett, a left-hander, was peppered for 12 hits over six innings. He walked one, hit one and struck out four.

“That was a good lefty on the mound and in years past, it’s been throw the lefty at them,’ ” Broome said. “We’ve proven, against the lefties we’ve faced, that we can hit them. We saw a good one tonight and made him throw it over the dish and our guys hit the baseball.”