SP bb vs Columbus

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tigers take Columbus to extra inning

By Brad Greer

Hunter Ivy deserved a better fate than what was dealt to him and perhaps so did his South Panola teammates in their key District 2-6A matchup against Columbus.

Ivy surrendered one earned run on five hits while striking out a season-high nine batters, but the Tiger offense could not produce a key hit with runners in scoring position as the visiting Falcons escaped with a 3-2 victory in eight innings Friday night.

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Columbus (11-5 overall; 2-2 district) took game one of the three-game series 6-0 last Tuesday. The two teams will meet again April 13 in Columbus.

Chris McCullough’s eighth inning one-out triple, scoring Jimmy Cockrell from first base  proved to be the winning run. The Falcons would later threaten to score with the bases loaded but Ivy caught Tyler Blevins looking at a called strike three to end the inning.

Falcon starting pitcher Christian Dale retired the next three South Panola batters in order in bottom of the eighth to close out the win. Dale registered the complete game victory by giving up two runs on seven hits while fanning 10 and walking three batters.

South Panola (11-7) missed a golden opportunity to win the game in the bottom of the seventh as the Tigers loaded the bases with one out. Dale however would wiggle out the jam by fanning Tays Hardy and getting Taylor Meek to ground out to end the inning. South Panola stranded 10 runners on base including eight in scoring position in the game.

“Tonight was real frustrating. You tell your kids to prepare for every day and you really cannot control winning or losing and all we ask out of our players is to play hard and give everything they got. You can play well and win or play well and lose. That is the way it goes,” said South Panola head coach Patrick Robey.

“You have to tip your cap to Christian, he pitched an outstanding game and so did Hunter. I just wish we could have gotten those key hits for him, but with a game like that whoever gets the big hit at the right time is going to win and tonight it was their time,” said Robey.

Columbus took advantage of two Tiger errors in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead. Cockrell led off the game with a double then advanced to third on a passed ball before scoring on a groundout.  McCullough then reached on an infield error and later raced home on a double steal attempt.

Ivy then settled down and retired the next 12 batters before a fifth inning Gaventa Webb single.
South Panola got on the board as Chris Townsend led off the third with a single before scoring on Chance Whitten’s single.

Two innings later, the Tigers tied the game at two as Whitten legged out a triple then scored on an Andrew Horne single.

Meek, Bobby Epps and Blake Darby registered singles as South Panola out-hit Columbus 7-5 in the game.