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Tigers shut out Independence, 10-0

By Brad Greer
Just as the weather has warmed up in Northwest Mississippi, so have the South Panola baseball bats.

The Tigers pounded out 12 hits Saturday afternoon while receiving strong pitching from Ethan Bright and Whit Whitten for a 10-0 win over Independence. The game was called in the sixth inning due to the 10-run rule.

Tyler Benson, David Renfroe and Corbin Moore all collected three hits on the day as the Tigers improved to 10-5 on the year. Bright meanwhile picked up his first win of the year by pitching three innings while Whitten completed the final three innings on the hill. Bright struck out four and gave up one hit while Whitten surrendered four hits and fanned one. Neither hurler walked a batter.

South Panola got on the board in the bottom of the first as Benson led off with a single. Renfroe  followed two batters later with another single to put runners at the corners with one out. Bright grounded out to second to score Benson.

The Tigers added another run in the bottom of the second off of Wildcat starting pitcher Destin Johnson when leadoff hitter Wesley Gregg reached third on a pair of errors by the first basemen. Moore then smashed a double to drive in Gregg. Independence got their first hit in the top of the third on a two-out triple by Danny Boyles, but Bright struck out Seth Wooten to end the threat.

South Panola added two more runs in the bottom of the third on one hit and a pair of Wildcat errors. Monroe Harrison led off by reaching first on an error and then later scored on Renfroe’s single to left. Catcher Joseph Blair later grounded to second to chase home Renfroe for a 4-0 lead.

“This was our best game as far as playing a complete game. Our pitchers came in and threw strikes and got ground balls and our defense made some plays that we needed too. We took advantage of their mistakes and pretty much everybody in the lineup got a hit. Everybody was productive and everybody had some quality at-bats,” said Tiger head coach Patrick Robey.

Independence loaded the bases with one out in the top of the fourth off of Whitten, but the junior got Alex Barham to ground into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning. The Tigers expanded their lead to 8-0 in the bottom of the fourth on a pair of singles by Moore and Harrison and RBI doubles off the bat of Benson and Renfroe.

The Tigers ended the game in the bottom of the sixth  by scoring a pair of runs on three hits. Benson led off the inning with a single up the middle followed by a double by Harrison. Renfroe then added his third RBI of the game on a groundout to short to score Benson. Bright then followed with an RBI single to right to plate Harrison.

The Tigers started off the weekend by defeating Farmington (Mo.) 9-6 in the Desoto County tournament Friday afternoon.

Colton Ales (5-3) pitched four innings to get the win on the mound. Bright and Renfroe each hit homeruns while Benson added three hits to lead the Tigers offensively.

South Panola will return to action tonight by traveling to Starkville for a District 2 5-A matchup, then will visit No. 1 ranked Tupelo on Thursday before returning home Friday night against Starkville at 7 p.m.