SP Tigers wins over Water Valley

Published 4:31 pm Thursday, March 2, 2017

SP Tigers wins over Water Valley

South Panola’s Bo Williams dives for home plate as the ball comes toward to the pitcher defending the plate in Tuesday night action.
The Panolian photo by Glennie Pou

By Brad Greer
Just as a quarterback is to football, pitching plays the most vital role when it comes to wining or losing baseball games.
After losing its first two games over the weekend, South Panola used the right arm of junior Chris Brown and other relievers to pick up their first win of the season with an 8-2 victory over Water Valley Tuesday night.
Brown, who was making his first start of the season, spun four innings of shutout ball while giving up three hits and striking out three batters on 44 pitches.
Ryan McCurdy surrendered two runs on one hit in two innings of relief work. Blaine Ware finished out the game with a scoreless seventh inning by working his way around back-to-back singles to start the frame before retiring the next three batters on a pair strikeouts and a ground ball.
“I am a firm believer in everything starts out there on the mound. If you can throw strikes and let the defense work behind you then your chances of becoming successful are pretty good. Chris threw about the best I have ever seen him throw tonight,” said South Panola head coach Jake Mills.
“He threw strikes and made Water Valley put the ball in play and did not walk a batter. Ryan and Blaine also did a solid job in relief and that was important because we might need those guys in the same situation later on down the line,” said Mills.
South Panola (1-2) wasted little time in getting on the board as they plated two runs in the bottom of the first off Water Valley starting pitcher Tydarrius Kuykendall.
Nathan Herron got the rally started with a bloop double down the left field line. Ware followed by reaching on an error that put runners on the corners. Herron scored South Panola’s first run of the year as Kuykendall’s  errant pickoff throw at first sailed into right field. Ware later crossed the plate on a wild pitch for a 2-0 Tiger lead.
South Panola extended their lead to 6-0 in the third on three walks and two Blue Devil throwing errors that produced three runs. Gehrig Griffin  came up with the lone hit of the inning with an RBI double that scored Bowen Williams who had earlier walked.
The Tigers added single runs in the fourth and fifth inning to close out the scoring as Noah Willis led off the fourth and later scored on an error. Anderson Wilder did the same one inning later by reaching on a bunt single before racing home on a wild pitch.
Water Valley avoided the shutout in the sixth by producing two runs on a pair of walks and a throwing error.
Each team posted six hits in the contest with Willis and Herron leading South Panola at the dish with two hits each. Herron and Ware scored two runs apiece while Wilder, Williams, Willis and Tripp Still all scored a run.
Kuykendall led Water Valley with two singles while Gavin Darby, Ty Varner, Dre’ McCray and Taylor Dean all collected singles.
South Panola threw some leather around on the defensive end with a few gems as Dalton Barefoot made a sliding catch in right to end the third. Willis ended the sixth by stabbing a hot grounder that ended a Water Valley threat. Catcher Braydyn Lee threw out a runner attempting to steal second in the third inning.
“We strung some hits together which is always good to see and we put the pressure on them to make plays, But like a told them afterwards, we left some runs on the basepaths. We had the bases loaded and no outs in the third and second and third in the sixth  where I felt like we could have produced more runs. But we’ll work on that in practice,” said Mills.
South Panola will take part in the Mid-Mississippi Classic tomorrow at Brandon as they take on the host Bulldogs at 2 p.m followed by a 4:30  clash with Madison Ridgeland Academy.
The Tigers return home Tuesday as they host Olive Branch at 5 & 7 p.m.

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