Vikings snag needed win|[03/22/08]

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 22, 2008

PEARL — Doing the little things paid off in a big win for Warren Central.

The Vikings manufactured runs, got timely hits and bunts down, and used a couple of defensive gems to beat Pearl 5-4 on Friday night.

Adam Lee went 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs for WC (4-10) and Cody Barfield had three hits and an RBI. Derrick White earned the win with 3 1/3 scoreless innings, and helped his own cause by going 2-for-2 with a double and a run scored.

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“That was a huge win. A huge pick-me-up,” said WC coach Randy Broome, whose team had lost two games to archrival Vicksburg earlier this week. “A 10-0 win, sure we’ll take it. But 5-4 when you have to pull it out at the end, that’s nice.”

Warren Central had to hang on at the end because of a meltdown in the sixth inning. After the Vikings scored three runs in the top of the sixth to go up 5-0, Pearl belted three doubles in a span of four batters to cut it to 5-3. A dropped pop-up that would have ended the inning allowed another run to score, and loaded the bases. Then, the Vikings pulled off one of the great defensive plays that saved the game.

Pearl’s Dillon Walker hit a sharp grounder in the hole between third and short, and WC’s Keaton Sanders made a diving stop. Before he was completely on his feet, Sanders threw to Lee at third for the inning-ending force out. WC pitcher Jason Pettway then retired the side in order in the seventh to preserve the victory.

“I was leaning toward that way way. I told (Lee), make sure you cover the bag because I’m going that way when it’s hit to me,” said Sanders, who had an RBI single.

Sanders also made a strong relay throw in the fifth inning to throw out Pearl’s Jonathan Rineheart, who was trying to stretch a leadoff double into a triple. It was one of several wasted opportunities for Pearl (11-6), which stranded four runners in scoring position in the game.

“We didn’t play well early. We put ourselves in a hole and couldn’t get out of it,” Pearl coach Jim Abraham said.