Vicksburg errors lead to another loss
Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 21, 2009
BRANDON — It’s way too early for the Vicksburg Gators to be overly concerned with a couple of sloppy losses. That doesn’t mean they can’t gnash their teeth a little, though.
Cullman, Ala.’s Jaret Veal singled in the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning Friday, handing Vicksburg its second straight mistake-filled loss, 6-5.
Vicksburg committed four errors and had six passed balls, leading to three five unearned runs for Cullman (3-1). In a 5-4, eight-inning loss to Clinton on Thursday, the Gators also committed four errors that led to several runs.
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VHS wraps up its three-game stay at the Mid-Missisippi Classic today at 11 a.m. against Tuscaloosa County, Ala., at Northwest Rankin.
“It was exactly the same as the Clinton game,” Vicksburg coach Jamie Creel said. “We might as well have had a VCR, put the tape in and rewound it, and watched it again.
“We’re just not playing the game of baseball. We’re making bonehead mistakes. The little things it takes to win, we’re not doing.”
Vicksburg (0-2) jumped out to a 3-1 lead after an inning and a half, but couldn’t hold it. Cullman bunted with its Nos. 2, 3 and 4 hitters in the bottom of the third, and the Gators committed errors on two of the plays.
Two passed balls also brought in a run and set up a run-scoring fielder’s choice by Kyle Johnson to tie the game.
Thomas Moss put Cullman ahead with a solo homer to left in the fourth inning. An RBI single by Vicksburg’s Blake Hynum tied it again in the fifth, but Cullman scratched across an unearned run in the bottom of the inning to take a 5-4 lead.
Brian Fitzgerald led off the top of the seventh with a single for VHS, and eventually scored the tying run on an RBI groundout by Kurt Cooksey. Once again, however, Cullman answered.
Third baseman Austin Freeman drew a one-out walk, stole second and went to third on a passed ball. Veal then brought him in with a sharp single just inside the third base bag to end the game.
Although the Gators went toe-to-toe with the two-time defending Alabama Class 5A champions, there was a sense of frustration at letting another win slip away. In addition to their fielding miscues, the Gators hit into two inning-ending double plays, left runners at third base twice, and had another picked off of first.
“We’re definitely not in sync, but that’s no excuse for not making plays,” said VHS third baseman Bowen Woodson, who committed two errors. “Mental mistakes will get worked out. But we need to make the simple plays.”
Contact Ernest Bowker at email@example.com