Arrows dominate Vicksburg

Published 11:37 pm Friday, April 6, 2012

Another night, another big deficit for Vicksburg at Bazinsky Field.

But a repeat performance with a big rally, this time against Clinton, wasn’t to be.

The Arrows were flawless in every phase and pounded the Gators 13-1 in a run-rule shortened game on Friday.

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The loss knocked Vicksburg (9-7, 4-3) largely out of the Region 3-6A championship chase and put Clinton in prime position. For Warren Central (13-8, 4-1) to make a play for the title, the Vikings need to beat Clinton on Wednesday and Vicksburg on Thursday. A Clinton (9-10-1, 5-1) sweep of Vicksburg on Tuesday and Warren Central will lock up the title for the Arrows.

“It’s such a competitive district,” Clinton coach Eddie Lofton said. “You can never tell who’s going to step up and play and our guys did it today. Our kids are at the point in the season where they just want to play. We’re starting to hit the ball, which was something we didn’t do earlier this season. Everything boils down to Warren Central and us on Wednesday night at our place and and it’ll be whoever has the best night.”

Jake Weathersby threw a one-hit gem, allowing one run and striking out five in five innings of work.

Vicksburg starter Clyde Kendrick shouldered the loss, allowing 10 hits and 13 runs. Only four of those were earned and he struck out nine. But his work was undone by five costly errors by his defense, all of which led to Clinton runs.

“It was tough, but you’ve got to tip your cap to Clinton and Weathersby on the hill,” Vicksburg coach Ryan Grey said. “They swung it as well as they’ve swung it all year long and Weathersby did a good job of keeping it down in the zone and kept our hitters off balance with the changeup. It’s hard to get big innings going when their pitcher is throwing 95 percent strikes and the ball is down around the knees, where it’s hard to barrel the bat on it.”

In the early going, it appeared the contest would be a tight affair. After Clinton got a Heath Skelton RBI single to take the early lead, Vicksburg turned a leadoff walk by Lamar Anthony into a tied game, as Cameron Cooksey scrambled a line drive deep into center for an RBI single.

But it was the only bright spot in a dim offensive performance and the Arrows had plenty left in the magazine.

After adding two more runs off Chase Lunceford’s two-RBI double in the second, the Arrows crushed the Gators’ hopes with a monster six-run third inning punctuated by Lunceford’s two-RBI single, an RBI double by Cole Stewart and Weathersby’s RBI single. Two costly errors led to two more runs and a deep 9-1 chasm.

After Kendrick and the Vicksburg defense put a couple of zeroes on the scoreboard, Clinton put the game into run-rule territory with a four-run sixth. An error led to the first Clinton run of the frame, while a botched play on a sacrifice bunt led to another. Stewart added a sacrifice fly and Ausitn Pevey had a two-out RBI single to complete the scoring.

Lunceford paced the Clinton offense with a 2-for-3 performance, with four RBIs and two runs scored.