SP Baseball

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 18, 2011

Tigers win Cleveland tournament 3-0

By Brad Greer

While the South Panola bats remained hot, pitching stole the show as the Tigers captured first place in the Cleveland Spring Break baseball tournament.

Senior Andrew Horne and sophomore Hunter Durham threw back-to-back complete game victories Tuesday as the Tigers defeated the home standing Wildcats 7-1 then blasted Lake Cormorant 16-1 in four innings in the championship game. South Panola opened the tournament Monday with a 6-5 victory over Lake Cormorant.

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Four players drove in two runs each as the Tigers scored in every inning to take the easy victory over the Gators in the title game. Lee Self registered two hits and knocked in two runs while Horne and Blake Darby each drove in two runs.

Bobby Epps added two singles and a RBI while Chris Townsend added a single and scored two runs. Mitchel Babb doubled and scored four runs as the Tigers plated three in the first inning, six in the second, five in the third and two more in the top of the fourth. DaShawn Lindsey also scored two runs.

Durham (2-0) spun a two-hitter over four innings of work on the mound as the right-hander gave up one unearned run while striking out three and not allowing a walk. Lake Cormorant avoided the shutout by scoring its only run in the fourth inning on a one-out error.

In the first game Tuesday, the Tigers broke open a 2-1 game against the Wildcats with a four-run fifth inning despite recording only one hit in the frame.

Townsend led off the inning by getting hit with a pitch followed by Babb’s single to left. Self then reached on an error to load the bases before Horne drove in a run on a fielders’ choice.

After Self scored on a wild pitch to make the score 5-1, Durham lofted a sacrifice fly RBI into center to plate another run before Epps laid down a squeeze bunt that scored Lindsey from third for the final run in the inning.

Tays Hardy led the way at the plate with a double and two singles while Babb added with a double and a single. Self and Scotty Daughtery chipped in with singles.

Horne meanwhile scattered five hits over seven innings while fanning three batters to pick up his first win of the season.

Despite leaving 10 runners on base  in their first meeting with Lake Cormorant, the Tigers pushed across four runs in the fourth inning to come away with the win.

Hardy’s key two-out, two-run single that scored Durham and Lindsey provided the winning runs. Self doubled while Horne, Epps, Babb and John Wesley Willis all singled.

The game was called in the bottom of the sixth due to the two-hour time limit as the Tigers had the bases loaded and two outs.

Babb (2-1), pitched five innings to garner the victory on the hill. The senior lefty fanned seven while giving up five runs (two earned) on four hits. Blake Darby worked a scoreless sixth inning for the save.

South Panola (8-2) opens Region 2-6A play Monday night at No. 4 ranked Tupelo starting a 5 p.m. with the junior varsity contest followed at 7 with the varsity game.