Saturday Slugfest: Warren Central, Brandon combine for eight home runs

Published 6:10 pm Saturday, March 11, 2023

BRANDON — Runs came cheap Saturday afternoon, and Brandon had a slightly bigger budget to spend than Warren Central.

The teams combined for eight home runs — four for each —— and when the slugging was over Brandon was on top with a 13-10 victory.

K.K. Clark went 3-for-3 with two home runs and four RBIs for Brandon (9-3), while Jacob Keys hit a three-run home run and Walker Hooks a two-run shot.

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“It’s a shorter porch and the wind’s blowing right, both teams got the ball in the air and unfortunately they got one more than we did,” Warren Central coach Randy Broome said. “I asked (Brandon coach Daniel) Best how many he’s seen in a day out here and he said seven. So we set a record out there. That’s something else to be proud about.”

Blake Channell hit two of Warren Central’s four home runs, and Maddox Lynch and Kylan Landers had one apiece.

The Vikings built a 4-0 lead in the top of the second inning and added another run in the third, but then stalled out. They didn’t score again until plating five runs in the sixth inning, with three of those coming on Channell’s second home run of the day.

Channell finished with five RBIs. The homers by Landers and Lynch were their only hits of the game.

Broome credited Brandon left-hander Jackson Clark with shutting down the Vikings after their fast start. Clark pitched 4 1/3 innings and was charged with four of the five runs in the sixth, but struck out seven batters. He retired five of the first six batters he faced.

“He hushed us. At the end of the day, tip your hat. He did a hell of a job coming in and putting our brakes on,” Broome said.

Brandon was held scoreless in the first and sixth, but scored in every inning inning between. K.K. Clark’s three-run home run in the bottom of the third put the Bulldogs ahead 7-5, and they never trailed again.

Another three-run homer, in the fifth inning by Keys, put Brandon ahead 13-5.

Warren Central’s rally in the sixth inning tightened things up, but it didn’t get any closer.

“They hit some mistakes hard, but they also hit some good pitches hard,” Broome said. “I feel like we have a staff that’s going to throw strikes. When you throw strikes, there’s a chance of having a day like today.”

Saturday’s game brought Warren Central to the unofficial halfway point of the season with a 7-5 record. On the whole, Broome said, he’s happy with his team’s performance to this point.

The Vikings won their Region 6-6A opener against defending MHSAA Class 6A champion Northwest Rankin on Friday and have wins against several other quality teams such as Germantown, Ocean Springs and Madison Central.

“I like where we are right now,” Broome said. “We’ve figured some things out. We get back from spring break and now it’s go time to make a run in the district that we’re 1-0 in right now. We’re sitting in a good spot.”

They’ll head to the Coast for three games in the Battle at the Beach spring break event beginning Thursday. On the other side of that is a headfirst dive into region play with two games against Pearl on March 21 and 24.

“It’s a good time for a little rest. We’ve been grinding, especially the last two weeks. I think these next couple of days we’ll get some rest, enjoy a day or two off, and then we get back and go to the Coast,” Broome said. “There’ll be some good competition there, and then after that there’s the district run.”

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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