Tigers’ Struggle

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 8, 2008

South Panola head baseball coach Patrick Robey watched as Southaven had its way with the Tiger summer baseball team last week in a 18-0 shutout in the first game. A pep talk by Robey between games sparked some excitement in the team and the Tigers played the Chargers to a 2-2 tie. The Panolian photo by Myra Bean

Tigers struggled against Chargers

By Brad Greer

The South Panola baseball team found itself on two different ends of the spectrum in last Tuesday’s twinbill against Southaven.

In the opener, Southaven pitcher Reagan Joiner fired a no-hitter as the Chargers jumped out to a 6-0 first inning  lead then sent 18 batters to the plate in a 11-run fourth inning for a 18-0 rout of the Tigers.

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The second game, however, was a complete turn around as South Panola received a solid pitching performance from Whit Whitten and Coty Bryant, who combined to scatter three hits over five innings. However, the Tiger bats could not come up with the key hits as the contest ended in a 2-2 tie after the one hour and-a-half time limit expired.

Matt Hendrix towed the rubber for the South Panola in the first game and struck out leadoff batter Kyle Moore for the first out, but then allowed the next four Chargers to reach base. The Tigers looked to be out of trouble trailing only 3-0, but a pair of  two-out errors prolonged the inning and led to three unearned runs.

Hendrix pitched the first two innings followed by Brice Belvin and Lee Self.

Southaven added another run in the top of the third as Drew Tatum reached on a one-out triple followed by Michael Lartigue’s single.

The Chargers then blew the game open in the fourth with 11 runs on six hits. Wesley Winfield, Jake Williams and Jack Lartigue all produced run scoring singles. Joiner, meanwhile, allowed only four base runners in the game while striking out three and walking two.

South Panola took a 1-0 first inning lead in the second game as Whitten singled, then advanced to third on a error by the center fielder.

Two batters later, Hunter Lawrence roped a single to score Whitten. The Tigers missed a golden opportunity to pad their lead to the board in the second inning by loading the bases with one out, but could not get a run across.

After the Chargers knotted the game at 1-1 in the third on a unearned run, the host team regained the lead as Mitchell Babb led off the third with a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Chris Brown.

Bryant then slapped a RBI single to left that scored Babb. The Tigers had a chance to take the lead later in the inning but courtesy runner Joey Gabbert was thrown out on a close play at home plate.

Southaven retied the game in the top of the fifth on a two-out RBI single by Tyler Justice. Whitten led off the bottom of the fifth by drawing a leadoff walk but was stranded at third as Belvin flied out to end the game.

South Panola  will end its summer schedule tonight by hosting the Mississippi Sox in a doubleheader starting at 6 p.m.