SP Baseball

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 27, 2009

South Panola Jr. varsity first baseman John Wesley Willis fields this out against Cleveland Tuesday afternoon. The Panolian photo by Angie Ledbetter

Tigers do it to Cleveland again

By Brad Greer

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Although it was not anything near the 23-2 beatdown one week earlier, South Panola  still made it look easy.

Behind the pitching of  Brice Belvin and the hitting of fellow teammate senior David Renfroe, the Tigers made short work of the  Cleveland Wildcats by the score of 12-2 in six innings Tuesday night.

Belvin gave up two runs on three hits over five innings of work to pick up his first victory of the season. The right-hander used a tantalizing curveball to go along with a sneaky fastball to baffle the Wildcat hitters while striking out nine and walking one batter.

After giving up back-to-back singles to start the game, Belvin retired the next 11 batters in a row before surrendering a two-out walk in the fourth inning to Andrew Whalen. Mason Zeigler followed with a RBI triple then scored as the relay throw sailed into the dugout for the only Wildcat runs.

While Belvin was mowing down hitters, Renfroe and the rest of the Tigers were  pounding Cleveland pitching to the tune of 10 hits.

The Dandy Dozen selection went 3-for-4 at the plate with three RBI’s including a two-run homerun in the bottom of the second to give South Panola a 5-0 lead. Renfroe also registered an RBI triple in the fifth and a lead-off double to start the game.

The Tigers (4-1) jumped on Cleveland starting pitcher Marshall Boggs for three runs in the bottom of the first. Following Renfroe’s double and Ethan Bright’s one-out walk, cleanup hitter Wesley Gregg  lofted a deep sacrifice fly to plate Renfroe. Whit Whitten then beat out an infield single. Both Bright and Whitten later scored on one of three Wildcat errors on the night.

South Panola scored three runs without the benefit of a hit in the fourth to expand the cushion to 8-2. Renfroe started off the inning by reaching first on a error. Bright and Gregg reached first on base-on-balls then scored later on a two-out error by Whalen as he misplayed a popup off the bat of Cody Bryant.

Lee Self’s single in the fifth led to a pair of runs as Renfroe legged out a triple to left-center. Catcher Joseph Blair then executed a perfect squeeze bunt to chase Renfroe home for a 10-2 lead.

After Whitten relieved Belvin in the sixth, South Panola ended the game via the ten-run rule in the bottom half of the frame. After Gregg and Whitten  reached on walks, Bryant slapped a single up the middle to score Gregg. Belvin was then intentionally walked to load the bases. Corbin Moore then smacked a 2-2 offering from Forrest Upchurch into center to score pitch-runner Zach Horne from third to end the game.

Bright and Belvin also registered singles in the game while Gregg and Self each scored a pair of runs.

The South Panola Junior Varsity squad was also victorious by the score of 11-5.

The Tigers traveled to Southaven Monday and came away with a hard fought 5-3 victory over the Chargers. Renfroe picked up the win on the mound by going six innings while fanning nine and giving up two hits along the way. Bright picked up the save by slamming the door in the seventh inning, giving up two hits and striking out one.

South Panola plated three runs in the top of the first on Blair’s double and a pair of singles by Gregg and Bright. The Tigers then added a pair of runs in the top of the sixth for the winning margin.

Weather permitting, South Panola will travel to Desoto Central today with JV action starting at 5 p.m followed by the varsity at 7. The Tigers will return home tomorrow for a scheduled game with Oxford beginning at 1 p.m.