Terry spoils Abraham’s debut with Vikings|Prep baseball

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Dixon family’s latest superstar spoiled Josh Abraham’s Warren Central debut on Saturday.

Deshun Dixon, whose older brother Anthony is the starting running back at Mississippi State and his other brother Rashun was the Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year in 2008, struck out the last five batters he faced to lead the Bulldogs to a 7-5 win at Viking Field.

The Vikings (0-1) knocked out Terry’s starting pitcher, Michael Manley, in three innings after scoring four runs off five hits. Dixon, however, allowed just a single run in his first inning of work and struck out seven over his last three innings.

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“Once he got dialed in, his fastball was really good,” said Abraham, the first-year Vikings coach. “He stayed in the strike zone and our guys did what they could. Of course, you want to win every game, but I thought the boys played hard. It was a good first game. We just didn’t get the job done. On Monday, we’ll be back working.”

Terry coach Jerry Gibson was surprised he had to use Dixon as long as he did in relief.

“Michael Manley won 11 games for us last year and is going to be our No. 1 starter, but Warren Central showed how much an improved team they are. We were fortunate Dixon came in and threw strikes. They got those three infield hits off of him in his first inning and then he settled in and pitched well,” Gibson said.

Terry was one of Class 5A’s best teams last year, going 27-5 and reaching the semifinals before losing in three games to eventual state champion Ocean Springs.

WC starter Adam Lee and reliever Dylan Wooten combined to strike out 10 while giving up only three walks.

Terry did its damage behind 11 hits, including a pair of doubles from Morris Grant. Grant also scored two runs and drove in another. J.T. Coward, Harding and Tyler Catchot also had two hits apiece for the Bulldogs.

“I think our scrimmage work is what has helped our pitchers. We were able to test our pitchers,” Abraham said.

The game was tied at 4 when Grant reached on a walk against Wooten in the fourth. Derek Harding drove him in with a single, then scored on passed ball to give Terry its third two-run lead of the game.

WC, though, couldn’t rally like it had in the second and third innings. The Vikings did manage three infield hits off Dixon in the bottom of the fourth to plate Keaton Sanders and make it 6-5.

They then had a chance to tie it in the fifth with runners on first and third and one out. But Darrick White got caught in a rundown off third base after De Kelley broke for second on a steal.

Terry tacked on a run in the sixth on Grant’s second double of the game.

Warren Central was led by Keaton Sanders, who doubled in two runs in the second and then singled and scored in the fourth. Lee had two singles and White had two base hits, the first coming in the third inning to score Jimmie Elliott to tie the game at 4.

Wooten struck out six over four innings but took the loss in relief.


Contact Jeff Byrd at jbyrd@vicksburgpost.com.