By Angie Ledbetter
The North Delta Green Wave baseball team opened up the home season Thursday honoring fallen teammate Michael Johnson Jr.
Michael and Odessa Johnson Sr. were in attendance as their son was recognized. Johnson Sr. threw out the first pitch. He was also presented with a baseball cap and a baseball jersey that his son was to wear this season. Monogrammed on the team caps are MJ and the #2 in memory of Johnson.
The Green Wave hosted rival Magnolia Heights Chiefs in their first home game on in what turned out to be a hard fought situation from the mound for the Green Wave.
The Chiefs got the 12-1 non-conference win, scoring ten runs in the top of the first inning.
Jim Tom Copeland was the starting pitcher for the Green Wave.
Geri Lamm relieved Copeland in the top of the third inning.
The Green Wave’s only score came in the bottom of the third when Josh Garrott got on base with a walk.
Garrott did what he does best to get a run, take chances. He got to second and third on a stolen bases.
Michael Magee walked to get on first base. On a squeeze play, Garrott stole home while Copeland was up to bat.
In the fourth inning, the Chiefs scored two more runs to put them up 12-1.
Due to the 10-run mercy rule, the game was called after the fifth inning. The Green Wave fell to 0-2 on the season.
Head Coach David Hardy said even though the Green Wave got beat 12-1 and hard as it may seem, he was fairly pleased with the big picture.
“One inning really got us,” said Hardy. “As far as baseball, one big inning can pull you or against you. This time, it was definitely against us. Giving up ten runs in the first inning was sort of a moral hole that we dug ourselves into.
“I was fairly pleased with our pitchers,” Hardy continued. “They threw strikes and just didn’t get knocked around the park. We just didn’t play well enough defensively enough behind them. That’s the case in every game.”
Hardy said that is all he can ask of pitchers is to throw strikes.
“They had some base hits that they shouldn’t have had and had a three run home run that they hit,” Hardy said. “We just gave them too many outs in that first inning. That’s tough to do against anybody especially an opponent of that caliber. That’s the kind of hole that we dug and it was going to be a tough enough task enough as it was.”
North Delta had two base hits.
In the second inning the Green Wave had back to back singles with Bateman Greenlee and Seth Barnett.
“Josh Garrott is our lead off guy with the speed that he has,” Hardy said. “We really emphasize that just about any way that you can work your way on base, there is always going to be another pitching to us. If he is on the bases, he can definitely cause some problems just with his progressiveness and his speed. It worked out for us in that particular situation.”
Hardy said that he is hoping that his team being 0-2 on the season does not get them down completely and hopes they will be able to learn from this game.
The Green Wave will be back in action on Thursday at home when they host the Desoto Thunderbirds in the first district game of the season. The game starts at 4 p.m.