Robinson’s slam leaves Rayville reeling

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 6, 2002

Caitlyn Harper of the Culkin Crushers, left, watches the ball get by her at first base as the Mississippi Mudcats’ Matthew Jones leaps after tagging the bag during their 7-year-olds’ Governor’s Cup game Saturday at Halls Ferry Park. Below, Delmon Robinson gets set to connect for a fourth-inning grand slam in an 11-12-year-olds’ game against Rayville, La. The homer was Robinson’s second of the game and gave his Vicksburg Barracudas a 10-7 win.(The Vicksburg Post/C. Todd Sherman)

[08/04/02]With one mighty swing Saturday afternoon, Delmon Robinson won the home run derby and the game between the Vicksburg Barracudas and the Rayville Xtreme.

Robinson belted a grand slam in the fourth inning to lift the Barracudas to a 10-7 win in the 11-12-year-olds’ age group at the Governor’s Cup.

It was the second home run of the game for Robinson and the third for the Barracudas, who stayed alive for a wild card berth in today’s championship round. The two teams hit five homers in all on the short, 200-foot fences at Halls Ferry Park’s Bluff Field.

Robinson said the power surge was a result of playing on longer fields at the state tournament in July.

“In New Albany the fields are 250 feet, and here they’re 200, so we’re just killing the ball,” said Robinson, who was 3-for-3 with the two homers, a double, and five RBIs.

While the Vicksburg squad used longer fences to produce more long balls, Rayville coach Todd Ridgeway said the short field had the opposite effect on his team.

“That’s a short fence. They’re used to playing on a 275-foot fence,” Ridgeway said, adding that he felt too many of his players were trying to hit home runs.

Rayville also hurt itself by hitting into three double plays, all of them on balls hit in the air.

“They were hit-and-runs, and it was just one of those things,” Ridgeway said.

Chris Whittington gave the Barracudas a 1-0 lead with a solo homer to center in the top of the first inning, and Robinson followed with a blast to left-center to make it 2-0.

Rayville answered with some power of its own in the bottom of the inning, tying the game with a two-run blast by Colt Simson. Another homer, a three-run shot by Cody Sisson in the third inning, keyed a five-run rally that gave the Xtreme a 7-6 lead.

Rayville walked the bases loaded in the fourth, however, and Robinson made them pay. He pulled an inside pitch over the wall in left field to give the Barracudas a 10-7 lead. Rayville was unable to score in the bottom of the inning, and the 90-minute time limit expired as they batted.

The Barracudas, who lost their first game on Friday, stayed alive for a wild card berth but must beat the Madison Heat this morning to have any chance.

“If we don’t win, we might as well pack up,” Barracuda pitcher Matt Cranfield said.

Whittington also drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to the wall in right, and Jonathan Longmire drove in two runs with a single off the wall during a four-run second inning by Vicksburg.

Alan Williams had an RBI single for the Xtreme.