By Angie Ledbetter
The North Delta Green Wave baseball season came to an end Thursday night after they played a slugfest, losing 18-12 to the Deer Creek Warriors in game three of the first round of MPSA district 1A playoffs. They split with the Warriors losing the first game and winning the second.
The Warriors used the long ball to jump out to an 8-0 lead in the first inning. The second basemen, who led off, took the first pitch over the fence for the only home run of the game. The next three batters got hits on a single, two doubles, and a walk, scoring two more runs. Bases were loaded with one out when the pitcher singled bringing in another runner for the Warriors. The second baseman came back to the plate getting a walk. Jim Tom Copeland got one strike out before the Wave made a pitching change putting Geri Lamm on the mound. With bases loaded, the third baseman hit a 3-RBI triple driving in all three runners to finish with an eight-run inning.
The Green Wave started their own rally in the bottom of the first scoring four runs. Josh Garrott slammed a triple. Jim Tyler Dalrymple singled driving home Garrott for first run and Copeland singled advancing Dalrymple to third. Bateman Greenlee walked, loading the bases.
Chase Bruce came in as pinch runner for Greenlee. The next batter grounded out to the pitcher driving Dalrymple home. While Seth Barnett was at the plate Copeland scored on a squeeze play. Austin Gant stepped to the plate with a single RBI scoring Bruce.
The team stuck together and fought a hard comeback in the bottom of the second. Britt Lawrence got on base on a infield error. Garrott got hit by a pitch followed by Dalrymple’s single to load the bases. With two outs, back-to-back singles by Greenlee and Magee drove Lawrence, Garrott and Dalrymple home for seven runs.
Barnett hit a double RBI scoring Copeland for the tying run at eight. With two outs, Lamm drove a hard single, scoring Bruce, pinch running for Greenlee, and Magee for the 10-8 lead.
The first two innings lasted one hour and fifteen minutes as each team fought to keep the lead.
The center fielder walked, stole to second while the left fielder hit a fly ball and Garrott made the catch for second out. The right fielder singled and second baseman hit the ball but Bailey Guckert caught it and threw down for a double play to Dalrymple at first.
The Warriors tied the game in the top of the fourth at 10 and went up 11-10 in the top of the fifth.
Lamm started the bottom of the fifth with a double for the Wave and scored the tying run at 11 on a single by Dalrymple.
Greenlee relieved Lamm in the top of the sixth but not before the Warriors scored to retake the lead 12-11.
The Warriors used the last inning to put the game away as they scored six runs.
The Wave were only able to score one run. Garrott, a senior who saw his last action as a baseball player, finished the game with a hard single, bringing Bruce home for the only run of the inning.
“It was a tough loss especially it being my last game,” said outgoing head coach David Hardy. “I was certainly proud of the guys for battling back after getting down especially in a game of that importance. They regained the lead but just wasn’t able to hold it.”
Starting the game with a home run made a big difference in the game, according to Hardy.
Players were predictably very sad after the game as they listened to Hardy talk to them about the loss.
“I knew they were disappointed and I was to,” said Hardy. “You’re never happy with a loss anytime. I wanted them to look at the big picture and see what we had done. We had talked about it when we did make the playoffs that however it ended, I wanted them to handle it with class and deal with it in as mature a manner as possible. I told them to try to see the good in it and to remember that there are bigger and more important things out there that I would like to believe that they would have success in.”
The players told Hardy how much they appreciated and loved him. This was Hardy’s last game to coach baseball at North Delta. He resigned in early March after coaching 11 years. Prior to coming to North Delta, he coached six years at South Panola.
“I definitely enjoyed the time that I have been able to spend with them not just with the game of baseball but in other very important aspects of life,” said Hardy. “Hopefully, I’ve had some type of positive influence on them because they definitely had an impact on me.”
The Green Wave finished the 2008 season with an overall record of 8-8 and a 6-3 district record.