SP Baseball

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Mustangs slip by Tigers

By Brad Greer

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The South Panola baseball team may or may not make the post-season playoffs this year. But one thing is certain, the Tigers will sure make the final three weeks of the regular season entertaining to say the least.

In the nightcap of the Desoto County tournament Friday afternoon at Desoto Central, the Tigers used a six-run sixth inning to rally from a 7-1 deficit against Center Hill, only to have the Mustangs score three runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth to take a 10-8 win.

In the first game of the day, South Panola blasted Farmington, (Mo.) 13-2 in five innings.

South Panola (7-11) returns to district play tonight as they travel to Starkville starting at 4 p.m. with the junior varsity followed by varsity action at 6 p.m.

Center Hill (11-4), scored a pair of runs in the first and second innings off Tiger starting pitcher Andrew Horne and lead 4-0. Matt Hendrix got South Panola on the board in the top of the fourth by leading off the inning with a double and later scoring on a wild pitch.

The Mustangs answered with three runs in the bottom half of the frame as Cole Lee blasted a three-run homer off reliever Luke Latham to give Center Hill a 7-1 lead. Latham suffered the loss on the mound by giving up six runs on nine hits in 3.1 innings of work. Wesley Gregg threw one inning of scoreless relief in the sixth inning.

South Panola began its comeback in the top of the sixth as Mitchel Babb and Chris Townsend reached on walks to start the inning. After Bobby Epps followed with a single bunt to load the bases, Latham slapped a two-run single up the middle to plate Babb and Townsend to trim the Mustang lead to 7-3.

Joey Gabbard and Lee Self kept the inning going by reaching on a pair of walks. Latham made the score 7-4 after coming home on Gregg’s fielders choice. After Gabbard raced home on a wild pitch, Ryan Maxwell delivered a RBI single to score courtesy runner Calvin Hawkins for a 7-6 Mustang lead.

Center Hill took the lead for good in the bottom of the sixth on three singles and two sacrifice fly balls. Zack Horne accounted for the Tigers’ final run in the top of the seventh by reaching on a double and later scoring on Gabbard’s fielders choice.

South Panola registered nine hits in the game as Maxwell led the way with three singles. Gabbard, Epps, Andrew Horne  and Latham added singles while Hendrix and Zach Horne doubled. The Tigers stranded 10 runners on base.

In the first game of the day, South Panola scored six runs in the bottom of the first and seven more in the fourth to coast to the easy win over Farmington, which is a suburb of St. Louis.

Babb (3-2) fanned nine batters while giving up two runs (one earned) to pick up the complete game pitching victory.

Gregg doubled and singled to lead the Tigers at the plate. Townsend and Babb contributed with two singles each while Maxwell and Self added doubles.Latham, Epps and Zach Horne rounded out the 11-hit South Panola attack with singles

South Panola fell to 1-2 in district play Thursday night with a 13-7 loss at Columbus. The Falcons broke open the game with a six-run third inning then tacked on four more runs in the fifth to win going away.

Self led the Tigers offensively with a home run and two singles. Hendrix and Latham followed with a pair of singles while Babb, Gabbard, Gregg and Zach Horne all singled. Maxwell also added a two-run double in the loss.