Different, Turner key WC’s victory

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 23, 2004

[4/23/04]Jake Turner trotted in from right field during the seventh inning Thursday night, a slight grin on his face and no worries on his shoulders.

After all, he was only coming into a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the first game of the playoffs with Warren Central clinging to a one-run lead.

Turner came on in relief and struck out the last two batters of the game, preserving a 5-4 win for Warren Central over Ocean Springs in Game 1 of their first-round Class 5A playoff series.

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The Vikings can close out the series and advance to the second round by beating Ocean Springs at home in Game 2 on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.

“It was heart-wrenching,” WC coach Randy Broome said of the final inning. “It was do-or-die, I guess. Jake showed a lot of guts coming in there and getting the job done.”

Mark Different (10-3) struck out 10 in 6 1/3 innings and helped his own cause by going 2-for-4 with a homer, double, and three RBIs. Nick Carson and Allen Carlisle also doubled for WC (20-9).

Different’s two-run double in the third inning helped stake WC to a 3-0 lead, but Ocean Springs answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning to tie it.

Different put the Vikings back in front with a solo homer in the fifth, and WC added a key insurance run in the sixth. Ryan Grey reached on an error and advanced to third on a bunt single by Zach Balthrop. Cody Ferguson ran for Grey and scored on a passed ball.

The run became huge when Different ran into trouble in the seventh.

He struck out the first batter of the inning, then walked Brett Fleenor and allowed a single to Justin Miller. Mark Mawhorter followed with an RBI double to cut it to 5-4, and Different was done.

Turner came in from right field and, after an intentional walk to Jared Kontour, struck out the next two batters to end the game and give WC a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.

“It was a big-time win for us,” Broome said.