SP’s Blaine Ware pitches no-hitter
By Brad Greer
South Panola’s Blaine Ware wasn’t perfect at Columbus Wednesday afternoon, but he was pretty close as close could get.
The junior left-hander threw his first career no-hitter as the Tigers hammered Columbus 17-0 in five innings to improve to 2-3 in district play and 8-10 overall.
Ware, who struck out a season-high 15 earlier in the year against Lafayette County, fanned 10 of the 16 batters he faced. The only blemish on his stat line was a walk in the second inning that prevented a perfect game.
“Blaine did a great job of staying ahead all day. We’ve stressed the importance of getting ahead of hitters and making them be defensive at the plate. Today was a great example of executing a plan. We are proud of him,” said Tiger head coach Jake Mills.
Ware, who like most Tiger pitchers have been hurt by defensive miscues throughout the season, got a huge boost as second baseman Nathan Herron saved the no-hitter by grabbing a line drive to open the fourth inning.
South Panola registered a season-high in runs and hits, scored in every inning including a nine-run fifth inning to put the game away.
Herron and leadoff hitter Mari Boyd led the South Panola offensive attack with three singles each. Braydyn Lee and Ware both drove in three runs each while Gehrig Griffin added two singles and one RBI.
Wes Morgan contributed with an RBI triple and scored three runs. Brandon Phelps registered a RBI double and two runs scored. Denver Brown chipped in with a single and sacrifice fly that plated a run in the third.
Bowen Williams had a particularly rough day at the plate, getting hit three times by a pitch but did score a run. Chris Brown and Anderson Wilder both scored a run in courtesy running roles. Herron also stole three bases while Boyd swiped two.
South Panola hosted Columbus in a double header last night and will travel to Olive Branch tomorrow for two games as they take on Tupelo Christian Prep at 2:30 p.m. followed by Olive Branch at 5 p.m.