McGowan’s homer lifts Gators past Meridian

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 1, 2004

[2/29/04]PEARL If Meridian had any hopes of rallying to win, Sean McGowan ended them with one swing.

With the Gators ahead by two in the fifth inning, McGowan hit a towering three-run home run over the left-field fence to lead Vicksburg past Meridian 9-6 on Saturday at the Mid-Mississippi Classic.

James Jackson added three singles, and Steven Price pitched four solid innings for the Gators (2-2). Vicksburg finished with eight hits.

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“All I can say is we finally came together and started hitting like we’re supposed to,” McGowan said. “We just finally played like we need to be playing.”

Vicksburg benefited from mistakes by Meridian (1-3) to take the lead with a six-run third inning.

After reaching on a walk, Casey Trest scored on a passed ball to tie the game, 1-1. Price then singled in Hampton Calvin, who knocked the ball out of catcher Corey Griffin’s glove.

Jordan Henry then scored from third base on a wild pitch by Randy Diveley. Jackson hit a shot between shortstop and third base to drive in Price, stole second and reached third on another wild pitch.

“We took advantage of a miscue or two there,” VHS coach Jamie Creel said. “We got some timely hits and some hustle plays. Things like that got us going.”

Meridian then replaced Diveley on the mound with Anthony Taylor. Sean Gibbs drew a walk, and Nathan Baylot followed with an RBI single to bring in Jackson.

McGowan then doubled off the left-field wall to send Gibbs and Baylot home. Baylot ran into the catcher and was initially called safe, but the call was later overturned.

“We should have expanded the lead there,” Creel said. “We got a bad call at home, but we didn’t gripe about it.”

In all, Meridian committed two errors, had a passed ball and two wild pitches, and gave up three walks.

Price picked up the victory for the Gators. He threw four innings giving up four runs and eight hits with five strikeouts and one walk.

Drew Smith came on to close out the game. He allowed two runs, but registered strikeouts on five of his six outs.

PCA 10, Indianola 8

Porters Chapel (2-0) scored six runs in the top of the seventh inning after allowing six in the bottom of the sixth inning in a win over Academy-AAA Indianola Academy.

Justin Boler went 4-for-4 with a pair of doubles and three RBIs, and Ryan Hoben had a single and two RBIs in the victory. Rob Quimby homered and Michael Shinn contributed two RBIs in the victory.

Porters Chapel led 4-2 in the bottom of the sixth, but a pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases. A single followed that tied the game at 4. Another walk loaded the bases again and Hoben allowed a grand slam as Indianola went up 8-6.

In the top of the seventh, Shinn walked, Chip Lofton singled and Busby reached on an error as the Eagles loaded the bases with one out.

A Boler double tied the game 8-8 and put runners at second and third. After a strikeout, Josh Gain walked to load the bases.

Hoben and Quimby were both hit by pitches to score two runs for the 10-8 lead.

Busby, who came on in relief for Hoben, retired Indianola in order in the bottom of the seventh to secure the win. He earned the win.

Prattville, Ala. 1, WC 0

Warren Central suffered its first loss of the season Saturday against Prattville, Ala., in the Mid-Mississippi Classic.

Drew Warnock pitched six innings and allowed one run on four hits. He struck out four.

PCA’s Boler throws gem for first win; WC wins 4-3

[2/28/04]Justin Boler made his Porters Chapel Academy debut Friday night with a gem.

The lefty Vicksburg High transfer struck out 12 in a six-inning no hitter as the Eagles defeated Veritas, 10-0.

Ryan Hoben led the Eagles’ offensive attack with a single, double and two RBIs, while Boler had two hits and three RBIs and Josh Gain and Michael Shinn each hit a solo home run.

Gain shattered his aluminum bat on his shot, which went well into the parking lot beyond left field, PCA coach Randy Wright said.

The Eagles are scheduled to play at Indianola Academy today at noon.

WC 4, UMS-Wright 3

Zach Balthrop outpitched a Division 1 signee Friday night, and the Warren Central Vikings stayed unbeaten on the young season.

Balthrop pitched 6 1/3 innings, scattered five hits and struck out six as the Vikings (3-0) defeated UMS-Wright, Ala., in the Mid-Mississippi Classic.

The Vikings are scheduled to play a doubleheader today against Prattville, Ala., at 10 a.m. at Pearl, and against Meridian at 8 p.m. at Brandon.

Eric Douglas had a two-RBI double in the fourth inning one of two WC hits and Mark Different contributed an RBI single.

Trailing 2-0 in the third inning, Different’s infield single scored pinch-runner Brian Carroll to cut the lead in half.

Douglas’ two-RBI double in the top of the fourth scored two runs and capped a three-run inning for a 4-2 WC lead.

UMS-Wright added one run in the fifth inning, and had two runners on in the bottom of the seventh with one out before Jake Turner struck out two in relief to earn the save.

UMS-Wright’s Eric Evans, a South Alabama signee, struck out 12 in the loss.