Flashes ride the cycle|Waring’s milestone paces rout of Stringer in Game 2

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 9, 2009

One pitcher’s duel. One rout. One more game.

Pierson Waring hit for the cycle, and St. Aloysius crushed Stringer 13-3 in Game 2 of the Class 1A South State championship series on Friday.

The mercy-rule rout evened the best-of-three series at a game apiece, and set up a deciding Game 3 today at 4 p.m. at Stringer.

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The winner of today’s game advances to the Class 1A championship series against either West Union or Ingomar, starting at 1 p.m. Thursday at Trustmark Park in Pearl.

“Our back was against the wall and now we’re deadlocked. It’s a matter of who wants it more,” St. Al coach Clint Wilkerson said. “Confidence-wise, to put up 15 hits and 13 runs you’ve got to be confident. Hopefully when they wake up tomorrow, they’ll understand what our mission is, and that’s to get a win down there.”

Waring left little doubt that St. Al (25-4) would get a win in Vicksburg.

The junior leadoff man blasted the second pitch he saw over the left-center field fence in the bottom of the first inning to give the Flashes a quick 1-0 lead. He added an RBI double in the second inning, an RBI single in the third, and a two-run triple in the fifth. His triple was a shot to the gap in left-center, a little to the right of where he hit the home run. It went just past the outstretched glove of Stringer center fielder Darius Beavers and rolled to the fence.

“I was thinking more down the line, not dead center,” said Waring, who finished 4-for-4 with five RBIs. “That’s the first (cycle) I’ve ever seen and I’ve been here since the seventh grade.”

Waring’s triple, part of a seven-run explosion in the fifth inning that ended the game, made it 8-3. The Flashes kept up the pressure the whole way, though, scoring in every inning except the fourth. They tacked on two more runs after Waring’s homer in the first inning.

Stringer (21-5) kept up for a few innings. It scored twice in the second and added another run in the third on an RBI fielder’s choice by Derek Bynum to stay within striking distance at 5-3. Waring’s RBI single in the bottom of the inning pushed the lead back to three runs, and his two-run triple in the fifth blew the game open.

St. Al scored six of its seven runs in the fifth before recording an out. Stephen Evans had an RBI single, Sean Weaver brought in two runs with a double, and Regan Nosser’s sacrifice fly to left ended it.

Weaver finished the game 2-for-3 with three RBIs, Ryno Martin-Nez was 3-for-4 with two runs scored, and Justin Rushing went 2-for-3 with a double, RBI and two runs scored. All nine players in St. Al’s lineup reached base, and seven of them had at least one hit.

The offensive output was a marked difference from Game 1, when the Flashes managed only three hits off of Stringer ace Andrew Pierce in a nine-inning, 1-0 loss.

“I told them the number one thing we have to do is attack. I felt like we did a good job with that tonight, and we have to carry it over to tomorrow,” Wilkerson said.

Although his team was thumped, Stringer coach Tommy Perkins said he wasn’t concerned. After seeing the pendulum of momentum swing from one side to the other in a span of 24 hours, he believes it can swing back the other way just as quickly.

“That’s the advantage of having a game. That’s how important that one was last night,” Perkins said. “We battled hard and they’ve got a good ballclub. We just had to score some when they scored some and we didn’t do that.”


Contact Ernest Bowker at ebowker@vicksburgpost.com