Pair of homers power Clinton past WC for division crown

Published 12:02 am Saturday, April 14, 2018

CLINTON — Warren Central had to scrape and claw for every run it got Friday night. Clinton was able to launch a couple of balls into a brisk wind and sock some dingers.

In this case, power beat persistence.

Courtland Posey and Jalen Cowan each hit solo home runs, and Posey also delivered a go-ahead RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning as Clinton beat Warren Central 4-2 to claim the Division 4-6A championship.

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“It was a great baseball game. Fun to watch for everybody here. It just sucks that we’re on this end of it,” Warren Central coach Conner Douglas said. “We didn’t get our timely hits and they did. We had them out there all night, they did not. When they had the opportunity, though, they made it count.”

Clinton (18-5, 8-1 Division 4-6A) took two out of three in the season series with the Vikings (17-8, 7-2) to win the division title for the second time in three years. The Arrows also earned a first-round bye in the Class 6A playoffs, while Warren Central will likely play Hernando in the first round.

“You’ve eventually got to beat everybody. Winning the division was one of our first goals, and we failed. So now it’s back to the drawing board,” Douglas said. “The good part is, we don’t have a break. We don’t have to worry about scheduling games and taking byes. It’s right back to it, and get ready for the playoffs.”

Warren Central had beaten Clinton on Tuesday night to even the season series at a game apiece, and had plenty of opportunities to win on Friday but never was able to take advantage of them.

The Vikings went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left five runners at either second or third base.

“We didn’t get our hits, and it’s very frustrating,” Douglas said. “And it was guys that were supposed to deliver. It was the heart of our order that didn’t get it done.”

The Vikings did scratch single runs in the third and fourth innings, when Sean Daily delivered an RBI single and Shane Lewis doubled and later scored on a wild pitch, but both times Clinton had an immediate answer.

Cowan belted a home run over the left field wall leading off the bottom of the third inning, and then Posey smacked one over the right field wall leading off the fourth to tie it at 2. The two home runs were lightning bolts that blunted Warren Central’s momentum and shifted it right back across the field to the Arrows.

“It was a big deal, just trying to keep the momentum up. We didn’t want them to get too far,” Posey said.

Clinton took the lead for good in the sixth, without the use of a home run. Christian Johnson was hit by a pitch, got bunted to second, and then scored on Posey’s single to right field. Adam Moncure delivered an RBI double to the gap in left center two batters later to make it 4-2.

Warren Central got a runner on base in the seventh, but Clinton turned a 4-6-3 double play to end the game.

Posey finished 3-for-3 and also pitched 2 2/3 innings of hitless relief for Clinton. The only baserunner he allowed was a one-out walk to Vantrel Reed in the seventh inning.

Lewis and Daily both went 2-for-3 with a double for Warren Central. Christian Oakes pitched 5 1/3 innings, struck out six and walked one batter.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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