Gators go deep, beat Warriors|[07/27/08]

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 27, 2008

Matthew Foley had never had a multi-home run game before. Brandon Beck had never even hit one. But both Vicksburg Gators accomplished their milestone feats Saturday afternoon against the Mississippi Warriors.

Foley smashed solo home runs in the second and third innings while Beck had a two-run blast to key the Gators past the Warriors 8-4 in the 12-year-olds’ Governor’s Cup at Halls Ferry Park. The win was the first of the day for the Gators, who lost their pool play opener. They came back Saturday night from a 6-2 deficit to beat Pine Crest 7-6 to seal up a bid in today’s bracket play. The top four teams from each of the two, seven-team pools advance.

The Warriors, out of Madison, fell to 1-1 in pool play.

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“We played a good game today,” Foley said of his team, which belted out 11 hits, including the three homers to go with a triple by C.J. Ross.

“I have been hitting pretty good in practice the last week. I just connected on both of those balls,” Foley added. The two dingers increased his summer total to four. The Gators have played in a handful of tournaments this summer, winning one in Monroe and finishing second in one in Vicksburg and another in Starkville.

Hitting a ball out of the park was somewhat of a surprise for Beck. “I’m still amazed,” Beck said. “I don’t know where it came from.”

Beck’s blast came after two outs after Foley’s first homer in the second inning. He knocked in Alex Thomas, who had reached on the first of his three singles. The homer gave the Gators a 3-0 lead. Vicksburg added an unearned run to make it 4-0.

After the Warriors scored twice in the bottom of the second, Foley was back to smash his second solo shot for a 5-2 lead. Lee Middleton then walked and advanced to third after hits by Thomas and Beck. He scored on Josh Sterling’s infield hit to make it 6-2.

They went up 7-2 after Ross tripled and scored on a wild pitch.

The Warriors trimmed it to 7-4 in the fourth without getting a hit. They got two errors and a steal of home by Dylan McKnight to close the gap. Thomas got one of the runs back when he singled in Middleton to up the lead to 8-4.

Hunter Bell came on in relief of Ross, who went four innings as the starter, to nail down a scoreless fifth. Ross walked three and allowed just two hits.