Waddell’s gem lifts Gators over DeSoto|Prep baseball

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 17, 2010

MADISON — Vicksburg got what it needed most Tuesday here at Big Blue Tournament.

It did not include a win over last year’s Class 5A champion Madison Central, but the Gators did snap a four-game losing streak by beating DeSoto Central 5-3.

Gators coach Jamie Creel was glad to get at least one win and is happy his road-weary team gets to play at home on Saturday at Bazinsky Field. The Gators, now 5-6, have played eight straight games away from home and went 3-5 in that span that included an 8-0 loss to Madison Central.

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“We ran out of gas today,” Creel said, whose team has played five games in five days. “We had a really good game this morning to beat DeSoto Central. Cody Waddell was outstanding.”

Against Madison Central, the Gators trailed the champs just 2-0 going into the bottom of the fourth inning and had a chance to draw even twice, but made two critical base-running mistakes that killed the rallies.

“We had every opportunity to be right there with Madison. We had some snafus on the bases that hurt,” Creel said.

Down 2-0 in the third, Clyde Kendrick reached on an error and then rounded second on a hit by Jonathan Clay. Clay went too far past the bag and Jaguar right fielder Brock Hunt caught him off-base with a smart throw to first base. Clay was caught in a rundown. Kendrick tried to bolt to third, but was caught as the Jaguars abandoned Clay to get the lead runner. Jaguar starting pitcher Will Bryan then struck out Keaton Jones to end the threat.

In the Gator fourth, Taylor Brocato got hit by a pitch and Waddell followed with a single. But before anything could go further, Waddell was picked off by Bryan off first base for the second out. He then got Justin Pettway to fly out to center to end the fourth.

Madison (9-1) struck for three unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth and got three more in the fifth to end the game by the tournament’s eight-run rule.

“Vicksburg has a young team that will continue to improve,” Madison coach Gregg Perry said. “I thought our guy (Bryan) was not bad. He threw strikes.”

The Jaguars, currently ranked second in the state, got two hits and two runs scored from Connor Goodspeed. Stanford Parks also had two hits.

Vicksburg got singles from Lamar Anthony, Waddell, Clay and Cooksey. Justin Pettway took the loss, going three innings and allowed three runs off two hits and five walks.

VHS 5, DeSoto Central 3

Cody Waddell was brilliant in helping the Gators end a four-game slide. Waddell, who has been used in relief, picked up the win in a rare start. He scattered three hits and got out of jam in the seventh inning.

Up 5-2 in the bottom of the seventh, Waddell hit a batter and walked two others, but catcher Taylor Brocato threw out a runner at third base to make for two out. Waddell then ended it by inducing a fielder’s choice to Cameron Cooksey at third for the final out.

Vicksburg trailed 2-0 after one inning and then got a run in the third. A four-run fifth put the Gators in front. Lamar Anthony and Brocato got hits in the inning. They both finished with two hits each.

Waddell struck out two. Cody Houston took the loss for DeSoto.

Contact Jeff Byrd at jbyrd@vicksburgpost.com