SP vs. Grenada

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bright’s homer gives Tigers victory

By Brad Greer

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Ethan Bright could not have picked a better time to hit his first home run of the season.

With the score deadlocked at five in the eighth, Bright drilled an 0-2 fastball from Grenada reliever Rafiel Johnson over the left-center field wall for a two-run homer to give the Tigers a 7-5 come-from-behind win Saturday afternoon in Grenada.

“I was a little ticked off. I thought some  pitches should have went my way but didn’t. I was just looking for something good to hit so he threw me a fastball and I turned on it,” said Bright, who was 0-for- 4 with two strikeouts prior to his game-winner blast.

Trailing 5-3 with two outs and the bases loaded in the top of the seventh, South Panola was down to its final strike when pinch-hitter Lee Self hit a chopper to third that should have ended the game. Raynard Conley’s throw sailed over the first baseman’s head, allowing both Coty Bryant and Whit Whitten to score, sending the game into extra innings.

Grenada took a 5-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth on a Mycle Montgomery two-run dinger off Tiger starting pitcher Mitchel Babb. Whitten’s two-out RBI single in the top of the seventh plated Wesley Gregg that led to the wild finish.

South Panola missed several golden opportunities to score runs  as they stranded runners in scoring position in three of the first four innings. The Tigers put runners on first and third with no outs in the first inning and first and second again in the second inning with no outs only to come away empty-handed. South Panola stranded 10 runners on base in the game.

“I was a little concerned early on in the game due to the fact we were leaving people on the base paths,” said Tiger head coach Patrick Robey. “We were pretty anemic through the first four innings. There was not a lot of enthusiasm but I knew in the back of my mind somebody could come up with that key hit. They (Grenada) made some key mistakes that cost them the game, but were able to get base runners on with two outs. Wesley led off the seventh with a hit and then Lee came to bat in a pressure situation and put the ball in play.”

     Grenada took a 3-0 lead into the top of the fifth before South Panola got on the board with a two-run homerun off the bat of David Renfroe. Brice Belvin led off the inning with a walk then was replaced by courtesy runner Andrew Horne who then scored on Renfroe’s third round-tripper of the season.

    Belvin got the win in relief of Babb by retiring the last six batters in the seventh and eighth innings. Babb started the game and went a strong six innings, striking out ten while giving up five runs (four earned) on five hits.

   South Panola registered nine hits on the day while committing one error. Renfroe added a pair of singles to go along with his homer. Corbin Moore and Gregg each had a pair of singles while Whitten added a single.

   The Tigers traveled to Desoto Central last night to complete a game that was suspended Feb.27 due to rain.  South Panola will return home Friday night to take on Tupelo at 5 & 7 p.m.