Gators take two at home|Prep baseball

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 21, 2010

Vicksburg got plenty of good pitching, timely hits and some stellar defense in the outfield to bag two wins Saturday.

The Gators opened the day with a 3-0, walk-off win against Pearl, then beat Lawrence County 7-3.

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Lawrence County (9-2) had won nine of its last 10 games, but the Gators (7-6) put together a two-out, five-run rally in the bottom of the fourth to take control.

“We got some big hits, some big two-out hits, and no question about it, they came against a really good team,” Vicksburg coach Jamie Creel said. “I told them if we played anything like we did in the first game with Pearl, we would get run out of here. And Lawrence County comes in and gets two quick runs and I think that helped set a tempo for us.”

Vicksburg erased the Cougars’ 2-0 lead by getting two runs in the bottom of the first. Lamar Anthony singled and then came around to score when Jonathan Clay’s single was booted in left field. With one out and two on, Taylor Brocato began a great day at the plate with an RBI single to left to tie the game. Brocato, the Gators’ catcher was 4-for-4 with three singles, a double and three RBIs.

Brocato, who had a grand slam to beat Brandon and two doubles in a win over Cullman, Ala., earlier this season, said he’s surprised by his hot bat.

“I have no clue where that came from,” Brocato said. “I guess I’m waiting better on the curveball and then when I get a fastball, I hit it. I’ve gotten some first-pitch hits this season. But as far as the RBIs, that’s because I have four people in front of me who are getting on base. All I have to do is get a bat on a ball.”

The Cougars had a chance to break the 2-all tie in the third when Willie Buckley was hit by a pitch from Cameron Cooksey. Then Scott Votaw hit a drive to the gap in left-center but Anthony, the Gators’ center fielder, ran it down for the out.

Anthony also had a diving catch in the seventh to take away another hit. He finished with two hits, two runs scored and two stolen bases.

“Best player in this county. He’s so young, you don’t know if you want to say that, but he is going to be really good and I think one of the best that’s come through here,” Creel said of Anthony.

Anthony started the Gators’ rally in the fourth when he reached on an error and then stole both second and third. Keaton Jones singled to left to plate Anthony to break the tie. After a walk to Jacob Thomas, Brocato hit a ball down the left field line for a double to score Jones and Thomas for a 5-2 lead. Cody Waddell followed with a two-run home run to left to make it 7-2.

The home run knocked Buckley out of the game. He went 4 2/3 innings and allowed seven runs on eight hits to take the loss.

Cooksey (2-1) gave up a run in the fifth off a double by Buckley and a single from Dylan Lea. He struck out Keith Martin to end the fifth and then got three straight ground balls to end the sixth. Cooksey ran into trouble in the seventh but was helped by Anthony’s catch and was able to finish the game.

VHS 3, Pearl 0

The Gators walked-off someone else for a change.

Justin Pettway blasted a game-winning three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to beat Pearl. The Gators had lost two games on walk-off hits earlier this season.

Jacob Thomas (3-1) pitched a complete-game shutout to key Vicksburg. He struck out six and scattered four hits, and kept the Pirates (1-12) off the board until Pettway could win it in the seventh.

Brocato and Waddell reached on singles and then Pettway hit his blast to left.

Contact Jeff Byrd at