Sp baseball v Clinton
By Brad Greer
Doing the so-called ‘ little things’ such as laying down a bunt or executing a hit and run can make a difference between winning and losing. Getting key hits at the right time with runners in scoring position does not hurt either.
Despite outhitting their opponent 10-8, South Panola could not string those hits together Saturday afternoon as the Tigers closed out the 2008 regular season with a 5-3 loss to Clinton.
South Panola, (15-10) will now set its sights on the first round of the 5A playoffs as the Tigers travel to Northwest Rankin to face Southaven Thursday at 7 p.m.
The winner will face Northwest Rankin Friday at 7 p.m. The loser will play at 4 p.m.
The two teams met earlier this season with the Chargers coming out on top by the score of 13-1.
Against Clinton, the Tigers left runners on the base paths in five of the seven innings while stranding seven runners on base in the game. After the Arrows jumped out to a 3-0 lead, South Panola pushed across a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth to make the score 3-2.
Whit Whitten led off the inning with a single followed by Tyler Benson’s single two batters later.
After Monroe Harrison sacrificed the runners over, David Renfroe ripped a double up the middle to bring in both runs.
The Tigers put runners on first and second with one out in the bottom of the first but could not produce a run as Whitten was thrown out attempting to steal third and Ethan Bright popped up to end the inning.
Sophomore pitcher Alex Gunn got the complete game victory for the Arrows (17-11) by striking out seven while giving up one earned run. Benson meanwhile suffered the loss for South Panola. The senior gave up four runs (one earned) on six hits while fanning four and did not walk a batter in six innings of work.
Corbin Moore pitched the final inning, giving up one run on a pair of hits and striking out one.
South Panola head coach Patrick Robey said Gunn’s effectiveness to throw strikes was the difference in the game.
“That guy was very effective today, he was throwing three pitches for strikes. He’s the best lefty we’ve seen this year. We haven’t seen many left-handers this year, but he’s certainly the best and it is good to see a guy like that,” said Robey.
Errors also played a key role in the game as the Tigers made three on the day that allowed three of Clinton’s five runs unearned. The Arrows pushed across one of those runs in the top of the sixth for a 4-2 lead.
“We got like ten hits, but we could not string any of them together for a big inning, but then again you’ve got to give their pitcher a lot of credit for that. I do believe though if we made some plays in the field it could have been a different story,” said Robey.
The Tigers added a run in the seventh on Benson’s one-out double ana RBI single by Bright.
Benson, Renfroe and Whitten each singled and doubled to lead South Panola at the plate while Harrison, Bright, Joseph Blair and Wesley Gregg added singles.