Warren Central loses to Biloxi in Coast finale

Published 3:16 pm Saturday, March 18, 2017

Warren Central’s baseball team has been running hot and cold this season, and this weekend turned out to be mostly frigid.

Biloxi scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to break up a scoreless tie, and held on to beat Warren Central 2-0 in its final game of the Battle at the Beach spring break tournament at MGM Park in Biloxi.

In four games on the Coast this weekend, Warren Central (7-6) lost three times and was shut out twice. It beat Lafayette 13-2 on Friday afternoon, but lost 6-5 to Gulfport in the evening. On Thursday, the Vikings lost 4-0 to Buckhorn (Ala.).

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The rough road trip followed a stretch in which Warren Central had won five of six. Before that, it lost two consecutive games.

On Saturday, the offense struggled and spoiled a strong pitching performance by Logan Stewart. The junior right-hander went 5 1/3 innings, only allowed two hits, walked four and struck out two.

Stewart didn’t allow a run through the first five innings, then ran into trouble in the sixth. He walked Jiles Bradford and Tucker Thomas, sandwiched around a sacrifice bunt, to put runners at first and third with one out.

Stewart was lifted for reliever Morgan Jarabica, who threw a wild pitch that allowed Bradford to score the game’s first run. Gabe Garza followed with an RBI single to score Tucker and make it 2-0.

Both runs were charged to Stewart, and he took the loss. Garza’s hit was one of only three Biloxi (11-4) had in the game.

Warren Central had four hits — one each by D.J. Lewis, Landon Stewart, Vantrel Reed and Hank Holdiness. Reed’s hit was a double, and the rest were singles.

Biloxi pitcher Trey Shaffer struck out eight batters and walked one in six scoreless innings to earn the victory. Steven Vanderlei struck out two of the three batters he faced in the seventh to earn the save.

Warren Central will try to get back on the winning track Tuesday, when it hosts Greenville in a Division 4-6A game at 7 p.m. The Vikings will travel to play Greenville on Friday night.