SP Tiger baseball
By Brad Greer
It’s a good thing for Olive Branch that David Renfroe was not 100 percent Friday night or they really might have been in trouble.
After being under the weather the past two days, the right-hander came out on a chilly, foggy night and threw darts at the visiting Conquistadors with a blazing fastball and wicked curve ball. In the end, the junior threw a complete game three-hitter while striking out 15 to power South Panola to a 6-1 victory.
“I was just ready for this game, plain and simple. They had beaten us a couple of times last year and I came into tonight really focused,” said Renfroe, who evened his record at 1-1 on the season. “I’d just like to give credit to my coach, assistant coach (Brad) Lightsey. He got me pumped for this game. I knew sooner or later we were due a big inning and that came in the fifth. Whit (Whitten) came up with a big hit to drive in two runs and what can you say about Wesley Gregg. The sophomore had a big hit in the fourth inning,” said Renfroe, who walked three and did not give up an earned run.
South Panola (4-2) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first off ‘Quistador starting pitcher Hunter Bobo. Ethan Bright drilled a two-out double to deep center and then later scored on Whitten’s infield single.
Olive Branch’s (6-1) only threat came in the top of the second as Seth Millhorn smashed a leadoff double into left then advanced to third on Mike Camp’s sacrifice bunt. Renfroe then walked Ryan Geeslin to put runners on the corners, but Renfroe got out of the jam by picking off Geeslin at first and fanning Mitch Ivy on a full count to end the inning.
South Panola increased the lead to 2-0 on an unearned run in the bottom of the second as Gregg reached second on an error by the center fielder. Then later scored on a pair of wild pitches by Bobo.
Olive Branch scored their only run of the night in the top of the third as leadoff hitter Bobo blooped a one-out single into right field. Following a ground out and a wild pitch that advanced Bobo to third, Travis Kirk hit a tapper off the plate that Tiger catcher Joseph Blair sailed over Matt Hendrix’s head at first base allowing Bobo to score.
After Renfroe struck out the side in the top of the fourth, the Tigers added another run in the bottom of the frame as Gregg drilled a leadoff triple to center, and later scored on an attempted suicide squeeze that went through the catcher’s legs.
South Panola then busted the game open in the bottom of the fifth by scoring three runs on four hits all coming with two outs.
Bright started the rally with his second two-bagger of the night. After Renfroe was walked, Whitten crushed a two-run triple into right that scored Bright and courtesy runner Lee Self from first base.
Whitten scored the final run of the night as Gregg legged out an infield single.
The Tigers collected seven hits on the night as Whitten, Bright and Gregg all had two hits each. Monroe Harrison added a single in the fifth inning.