Vikings make themselves at home in win over Jackson Academy

Published 11:25 am Tuesday, March 13, 2012

MADISON — In less than 72 hours, Warren Central’s house of horrors has become as intimidating as a cozy beachfront condo.

Cameron Upton threw six shutout innings in his first high school start, Bill McRight and Brandon Gates had three hits apiece, and Warren Central scored six runs in the fifth inning Monday en route to a 9-0 win over Jackson Academy.

The victory in the Big Blue spring break tournament was Warren Central’s second in three days at Madison Central’s Jaguar Field. Before WC snapped a 15-game losing streak against Madison Central on Saturday, it had a 4-8 record at Jaguar Field since 2009 and hadn’t beaten the park’s main tenant there in six years.

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WC has won four straight games overall, and plays two more games today at Jaguar Field against Terry and Lewisburg.

“We’re finally starting to click. We’ve finally got some mojo going or something,” said McRight, who went 3-for-3 with a triple, RBI and two runs scored. “That was the first time we’d beaten Madison in forever, so it was a big win. I guess we’re just getting comfortable with each other. Once you beat a team like that, your confidence carries over to the next game.”

Both Warren Central (7-3) and Jackson Academy (5-5) used pitchers from the bottom of their rotations Monday and, as might be expected, scoring opportunities were plentiful. Only Warren Central was able to cash in, though.

Jackson Academy left the bases loaded twice and a runner at third in the sixth inning. Warren Central stranded a runner at third in two of the first three innings before finally breaking through in the fourth. McRight hit a two-out triple over the head of JA center fielder Cooper Reid and scored on a single by Devon Bell for the game’s first run.

The next inning, the Vikings scored six runs to blow it open. The first five batters of the inning all reached base and scored. Hunter Austin’s two-run double sparked that part of the rally, while Gates and Will Stegall each had RBI singles. Later, McRight brought in a run with a sacrifice fly and Bell followed with a solo homer over the center field fence to make it 7-0.

“We hit fastballs and we quit taking them finally. We were squaring some up,” McRight said.

The Vikings added two more runs in the seventh, but Upton had plenty to work with by that point. The sophomore right-hander danced around trouble all game long, but never caved. He allowed six hits and only had one 1-2-3 inning. Yet he walked just one batter, struck out three and needed about 90 pitches to get through his stint.

Upton also had an RBI single in the seventh inning to help his cause.

“That was his first real, true outing of the year and he stayed down in the zone very, very well,” WC coach Josh Abraham said. “He had a great pitching outing. He threw a lot of strikes.”

VHS 5, Ridgeland 3

Clyde Kendrick drove in two runs with a pair of sacrifice flies, and Vicksburg High waited out two long rain delays to beat Ridgeland at the Sumrall Tournament.

The game started 90 minutes late because of rain, then was delayed another 90 minutes in the fifth inning. Vicksburg led 4-0 at the time, but couldn’t get the final out to make it an official game before play was halted.

Lamar Anthony, Michael Rohrer and Darius Kendrick all had two hits apiece for Vicksburg (2-4).

St. Aloysius 8, Enterprise 5

St. Aloysius scored six runs in the seventh to erase a 5-2 deficit to earn a win over Enterprise (Lincoln). Andrew Collins led the Flashes (4-7) at the plate with three hits, while Neal Ricks and Drake Dorbeck drove in two runs apiece. Patrick Murphy went the distance in the win with three strikeouts.