Vicksburg, Warren Central double-up Lafayette County|[3/6/05]

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 7, 2005

For the second time in three home games, the Vicksburg Gators won a game in its final at bat.

A hard ground ball from pinch-hitter Chad Owen was booted off the glove of Lafayette County shortstop A.J. Freeman, allowing Vernon Wolfe to score from second base and lift the Gators to a 3-2 win Saturday night at Bazinsky Field.

VHS moves to 6-2 with the win. For Lafayette, the loss completed a three-game road trip which included losses to Northwest Rankin and Warren Central.

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Gators coach Jamie Creel was satisfied to see his troops rally for a win against a tough 4A squad in Lafayette County.

“They are a very, well-coached team and their leadoff guy is as good as any player you’ll find in this state,” Creel said.

The Gators, however, created some momentum in the top of the seventh when they caught Lafayette’s Justin Woodall on a strike ’em out, throw ’em out situation.

VHS pitcher John Hendrix struck out Freeman and then catcher Tanner Woodson fired a strike to second to get Woodall for a key second out.

“Fifty percent of the high school catchers don’t make that play but Tanner did and that was a crucial play,” Creel said.

“You’d like for them to be smart, but I also rather be aggressive and that’s what Woodall did,” said Lafayette coach and former Ole Miss star Richy Harrelson said.

The VHS seventh saw Wolfe reach on an error at second. He then advanced a base on pinch-hitter Eric Coleman’s bunt single.

Creel tried to get another bunt to advance the runners, but Heath Daigre couldn’t get it down in three tries. That left it to Owen who sent a hard shot to short.

“Chad is our best contact hitter off the bench and he put it in play. We just wanted a ground ball and get back to the top of our order,” Creel said.

The carom off Freeman’s glove was enough to get Wolfe home with the winning run.

Both teams scored in the first inning. Woodall led off for Lafayette with a double and then scored when Woodson overthrew the bag at third. Stanton Price answered for VHS sending Jordan Henry home on a triple to right.

It stayed 1-1 until the fifth. The Commodores got a two-out single from Taylor Parker to score Freeman for a 2-1 lead.

The Gators bounced back in their half of the fifth, getting a leadoff single from Daigre. Pinch-runner Stanley Bufkin then stole second and later scored on Steven Price’s fielder’s choice.

Hendrix went seven innings to grab the win and go 2-0 on the year. He scattered six hits and struck out four.

Taylor Maddux (1-2) took the loss. He allowed seven Gator hits, but struck out six.

White’s pitching, Gordon’s hitting power Vikings

Warren Central got a complete game from pitcher Parker White and rode a huge fifth inning to a 7-3 win over Lafayette County on Saturday.

The Vikings, held to one run until the fifth inning, put six on the board to put it away.

“We just took a while to get to their starter,” Warren Central coach Randy Broome said. “I’m surprised it took us that long, but we finally got to him in that inning.”

The Vikings took a 1-0 lead in the first when cleanup hitter Josh Gordon singled to score Zach Balthrop, who had legged out a triple down the right field line earlier in the inning.

Lafayette pitcher Josh Thomason held WC to just two hits and no runs in the second, third and fourth innings. Thomason got into a jam in the fifth and was relieved by Justin Woodall.

Woodall finished off the inning, but not before the Vikings sent 11 baters to the plate, scoring six runs.

Will Mendrop led off the inning with a base hit, Nick Carson walked, and Ben Koestler singled to load the bases. Balthrop then hit what looked like a sacrifice fly, but two runs scored when the Lafayette left fielder bobbled and dropped it.

Woodall was brought in to pitch to Eric Douglas after Gordon knocked in a run with his third base hit of the game.

Douglas reached base on an error, and then Ryan Grey singled and reached second on yet another error.

Cody Ferguson’s groundout was the first out of the inning, and then Drew Warnock’s sacrifice fly scored the final run of the inning.

“We played well except for that one inning,” Lafayette coach Richy Harrelson said. “Our pitchers got into some trouble and we couldn’t get out of it. Those things happen – you just have to learn to overcome them.”

The Commodores’ only runs came in the third, when they batted around with five hits to take a 3-1 lead.

White gave up only one hit outside of that inning, walking one batter and struck out two.

“(White) has shown up well over and over,” Broome said. “They hit him pretty hard in the third, but he wanted to finish the game. I told him to go get it.”

Warren Central will host Forest Hill in a Division 6-5A matchup on Tuesday at 7 pm.