Warren Central rallies to beat Starkville

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 25, 2009

MADISON — Warren Central came back from a 6-0 deficit to stay alive at the Class 5A Madison Central Regional with a 10-9 win over Starkville on Friday night.

The Vikings (10-19) advance to play host Madison Central (19-4) today in the tournament finals at 1 p.m. The Vikings must win twice to advance to the next round.

Starkville, which beat WC 10-7 in eight innings Thursday, but lost 12-2 to Madison Friday afternoon, ends its season at 19-8.

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WC coach Josh Abraham said the early 6-0 deficit did not faze his team.

“It was early and we just stayed with the same approach. We didn’t panic,” Abraham said.

Starkville’s Chuck Tillery knocked WC starter Keaton Sanders out of the game in the second inning with a two-run homer to make it 6-0. Then the Vikings started their comeback.

They got three runs back in the bottom half of the second as De Kelley, Darrick White and Adam Lee all delivered two-out singles to make it 6-3.

In the WC third, Dylan Wooten led off with a double that was followed by a walk and then another RBI double from Jimmie Elliott to make it 6-4. Kelley drove in Beau Wallace on a flyout to left and White knocked in Elliott with a double to left-center to tie the game at 6.

Jason Pettway put the Vikings ahead to stay with a leadoff home run off Starkville reliever Haley Higginbotham in the fourth. The Vikings added two more runs in the inning off an error and Kelley’s RBI single to make it 9-6.

Lee led off the fifth with a walk then advanced two bases on passed balls before darting home on a dropped third strike, scoring on the throw to first. The daring play made it 10-6.

It proved crucial as Starkville scored three times against Viking reliever Jay Harper, who was working his fifth inning of relief. Harper’s longest outing had been three innings, but he kept the Yellow Jackets off the board for four straight innings.

Starkville got three of its five hits against him in the sixth to close to within 10-9. Daniel Forde had a two-run single and R.J. Johnson had a double to plate Forde.

Colby Key, who got the loss in relief in Thursday’s 10-7 loss to Starkville, came on in the seventh and retired the side in order to nail down the save. The lone scare was a deep fly ball to right that White caught against the fence.

“It was about five feet up the fence,” said White, who had a single, double and drove in two.

Kelley had two hits and drove in three while Wooten, Lee, Elliott and Beau Wallace all had two hits for WC, which out-hit Starkville 12-9.


Contact Jeff Byrd at jbyrd@vicksburgpost.com