Late rally lifts Tigers past Gators|[02/25/07]

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 26, 2007

BRANDON – Wind gusts up to 35 mph played havoc with the Vicksburg Gators and the Southeast Lauderdale Tigers Saturday in the Mid-Mississippi Baseball Classic.

But in the end it was the Gators whose victory chances were ‘gone with the wind.’

The Gators (1-3) left 13 men on base, 12 of those in scoring territory and two other Gators who also reached third base were picked off. The blown scoring chances allowed Southeast Lauderdale (1-4) to rally for the 4-3 win at Northwest Rankin’s Scarbrough Field.

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&#8220We didn’t get the clutch hits, we didn’t play defense and we didn’t run the bases,” Vicksburg coach Jamie Creel said. &#8220About the only thing that was good was the pitching of Blake Tarnabine. He did a good job.”

Tarnabine pitched five effective innings and was pulled after walking the only batter he faced in the bottom of the sixth inning and the Gators guarding a 3-1 lead. Andrew Brown entered with a chance to shut the door, but an error at second base allowed Trey Tanner to score and hitter Kevin Moore to reach third base.

Moore scored to tie it up at 3 when Addison Swink’s liner saw the wind beat it down away from VHS rightfielder Stanley Bufkin, resulting in a triple. Swink then scored the Tigers’ go-ahead run on an infield grounder by Trey Coker that made it 4-3.

The Gators’ seventh was another example of what plagued them all day. Bufkin drew a leadoff walk and then was replaced by pinch-runner Charles Canda. After a strikeout and a weak pop up induced by Tiger reliever Matt Butler, Vicksburg’s Trey Prentiss reached on a hit by pitch to bring up Brown. But on Butler’s first pitch to the plate, Prentiss broke for second and Canda reacted by taking too many steps toward home. Butler caught Canda in a run down, ending the game with a tagout.

Southeast coach Shea Cooper was elated to see his team get its first win of the season.

&#8220We finally put somethings together and Addison (Swink) did a great job of just getting us a chance to win the game,” Cooper said.

Vicksburg outfielder Stanton Price, who led the Gators with two hits and two RBIs, said his team is trying to find its offense.

&#8220We’re mixing up the lineup a lot, just trying to find a groove. We need Vernon (Wolfe) back,” Price said of the Hinds Community College signee. Wolfe has missed four straight games with a quad strain and joint pain.

Tyler Wells had an RBI double in the first to stake the Gators to a 1-0 lead and Price followed with an RBI hit to right to make it 2-0.

Swink led the Tigers going 3-for-3 with two singles and a triple.