Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 17, 2016

Tigers fall to OB by 1

By Brad Greer
Just two weeks into the baseball season, South Panola just cannot seem to catch a break thus far as four Tiger losses have come by one run.
That misfortune continued last Tuesday as they traveled to Olive Branch, a place where they have won only one time since 2008.
Despite out-hitting the Conquistadors 8-4, five errors and eight walks doomed the Tigers as Olive Branch held on for a 6-5 victory.
With the loss, South Panola fell to 2-6 on the year while Olive Branch improved its record to 2-4.
After both teams left runners in scoring position in the first inning, the Tigers bunched together three consecutive hits to take a 2-0 lead in the second.
Jacob Fennel got the rally started with a one out single to left field. Braydyn Lee then reached on a bunt single before Noah Willis slapped a two-run single to the opposite field that scored Fennel and pinch-runner Brayden Locke.
The lead was short-lived however as Olive Branch responded with four runs in the bottom half of the frame off Tiger starting pitcher Mason Wilkerson. Seven Conquistador batters reached base before Nathan Herron relieved Wilkerson on the mound to record the final three outs.
Olive Branch tacked on two more unearned runs in the third and fourth inning to increase its lead to 6-2 before South Panola plated three runs in the sixth highlighted by Zach Hopper’s two-run home run that closed the gap to 6-5.
The Tigers’ last gasp came in the seventh as leadoff hitter Cole Rotenberry reached on a two-out infield single but was left stranded as Olive Branch reliever Chris Peyton retired the next hitter to record the save.
Kyle Weaver and Fennel paced South Panola at the plate with two singles each. Wilkerson surrendered four runs on three hits with five walks and two strikeouts in one plus inning. Herron tossed two innings, giving up two unearned runs on one hit while fanning three and walking two. Chase Durham finished out the game by tossing three scoreless innings with five strikeouts and no hits.
SPJV 3, Olive Branch 2
South Panola’s Junior Varsity came away with a 3-2 victory in four innings as reliever Justin Bolton worked his way out of a bases loaded no out jam in the bottom of the fourth to earn the save. Luke Weldon pitched three innings to earn the win. Brayden Locke’s single in the fourth accounted for the Tigers, lone hit.
South Panola returns to the diamond tomorrow in the Oxford Spring Break tournament as they take on Lake Cormorant at 2:30 p.m. before squaring off against Oxford at 7:30 p.m. The Tigers conclude the four-day tournament Thursday by playing Southaven at noon followed by a rematch with Olive Branch at 2:30 p.m.  

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