Flashes sweep Puckett|Prep baseball

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The appetizers are over for the St. Aloysius baseball team. Starting Monday at the Rush Spring Break Classic, the big meals begin.

The Flashes feasted on an outmanned Puckett squad Tuesday night, sweeping a pair of Division 7-1A games from the Wolves 19-1 and 16-3. The wins keep St. Al unbeaten in division play at 6-0 and improves them to 11-1 heading into the Spring Break Tournament hosted by Lake and Forest high schools.

Waiting for them on Monday will be Neshoba Central, a squad that took Vicksburg High to three games in a Class 4A first-round playoff series last year. The Rockets feature one of the state’s best returning pitchers in right-hander Donnie Tabb, the only pitcher to shutdown Vicksburg’s offense during its playoff run to the 4A State Championship series.

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“I saw Tabb during the State Games last year and there’s a good chance we’ll see him because it’ll be a Monday game and they can bring him back the next Friday against West Lauderdale,” St. Al coach Clint Wilkerson said. “But it’s like I told the Lake coach, I want to play the best teams in the tournament.”

Wilkerson likes where his team is at this stage of the season.

“We’ve faced some good arms already. The Crawford kid at St. Andrew’s had a major league level breaking ball. It’ll be good for us to play some quality opponents and we’ll be the only team there that will play five games. Not only will we see Neshoba Central but Forest is playing as well as anybody, Kosciusko has some good arms and Louisville will be good,” Wilkerson said.

The Flashes got ready by using four of its back-end rotation guys to subdue Puckett. Joseph Brown, the team’s No. 3 starter, had three good innings in Game 2 before suffering a bit of wildness in the Puckett fourth with three walks. Justin Rushing came in, and after giving up hit to his first batter, bounced back to strike out the last four to end the game by run rule after five innings.

In Game 1, freshman Josh Eargle continued to impress, pitching a pair of scoreless innings as St. Al built an 18-0 lead. Regan Nosser pitched the final three innings, allowing only an unearned run.

At the plate, Pierson Waring had a big series, blasting his first-ever varsity home run, a grand slam to highlight the Flashes’ 14-run second inning in Game 1. In Game 2, he ripped a pair of doubles to help the Flashes take a 3-0 lead after two innings.

“I’ve hit a few balls that have come close to being home runs, but I haven’t hit one out since I was 14 playing in Babe Ruth,” Waring said. He finished the night with six RBIs off three extra base hits.

“We’re playing good right now. We had a good win against St. Andrew’s and that kind of made up for the game against JA (Jackson Academy).”

St. Al had 13 hits in both games. In Game 1, Blake Haygood went 3-for-3. Nosser had two hits and Sean Weaver had a double.

In Game 2, the Flashes got a two-run single from Brown to break open a tight game in the third inning. Puckett’s defense fell apart in the fourth inning with four errors as St. Al extended its lead to 10-1. All 10 of the Flashes’ batters had either a hit or an RBI. Nosser, Beesley, Brown and Waring all drove in two apiece.


Contact Jeff Byrd at jbyrd@vicksburgpost.com.