Vicksburg beats Pearl, takes charge in 3-4A race|Prep baseball

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A rarely used ground rule helped open the door for the Vicksburg Gators and helped coach Jamie Creel’s team keep commnand of the Division 3-4A race Tuesday evening at Bazinsky Field.

Vicksburg’s 7-1 win over Pearl keeps the Gators (10-5, 8-0) unbeaten and in first place in the division. Pearl, which could’ve tied for the division lead with a win, left Bazinsky two games back at 6-2.

For four innings, the Gators came up empty with men in scoring position and it appeared more of the same was happening in the fifth with runners on third and first and no outs. Pearl pitcher Adam Wade got Blake Hynum to pop up in foul ground. Pirate first baseman Taylor Harris got under the ball and made the catch near the Pirate dugout. But in doing so, Harris’ momentum carried him into the dugout.

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“When he went into the dugout with the ball, that’s a dead ball. It’s like a throw going into the dugout and that results in the runners being able to move up one base,” Creel said. “It’s an unpopular call, but it was the right call.”

Creel conferred with the umpires and Ryan Ferrington, who was on third, was awarded home plate and Bowen Woodson, who reached on a bunt before Hynum’s at bat, went to second.

“It helped us tie the game and got us started. After that, we started to make some hustle plays,” Creel said.

The inning continued with Brian Fitzgerald drawing his third straight walk. That was followed by Trey Prentiss’ ground ball to second. Pearl’s Tanner Phillips elected to go home with the ball, but the throw went past catcher Danny Alford, allowing both Woodson and Fitzgerald to score to make it 3-1. Prentiss went all the way to third on the Pirate error. He then took off for home on a steal and the play worked when Alford dropped the pitch.

Vicksburg added three more runs in the sixth with two outs. Ferrington reached on an error and Woodson followed with a single to right. Hynum then blasted a triple to straight-away center to score two and then took home when the relay throw to third went awry, resulting in the Pirates’ fourth error of the game.

Fitzgerald, the Gators’ starting pitcher, benefitted from the run support and kept Pearl (9-7) in check by inducing 11 groundball outs.

Fitzgerald improved to 4-0.


Contact Jeff Byrd at