Thursday, April 16, 2009
Indians fall to Ripley
By CLAUDE VINSON
The Byhalia Indians hosted the Tigers of Ripley April 7 on their well appointed hardball diamond at Byhalia High School Sports Complex.
The Tigers, with an overall .500 record(10-10) for the season, had already locked up a playoff berth in the 1-3A division.
The young team of Indians had missed a playoff bid for the first time in the last five seasons. They would have one more contest this season, a road game at Senatobia.
Andrew Brown was the lead-off pitcher for the Indians. He got two groundouts, one to short and one to first. The next was a high fly to centerfield which was handled easily by Lemarcus Hardaway. This made it three up and out for the Tigers.
The Indians fared less than well at their first time at the plate. Their batters were striking the ball well but the Ripley fielders were just as efficient in picking them up. The first inning was completed without a hit, 0-0.
The Indians had one out in the top of the second. Chanston Jeter got the first hit on a double. Tyler Stroupe stroked one to left and picked up a RBI. Brown retired the next batter and the third ended on a flyout. The Tigers left one stranded.
The Indians could not get anything solid going and went out in three – two complete innings and the score was 1-0.
Ripley got a little fancy in its next at bat. With one out, the coach called for a sacrifice bunt to advance a runner to second. Lawrence Massengill doubled to center; the ball was initially mishandled but Patrick Malone recovered quickly and killed the runner at third. Will Wallis hit a fast ball that didn’t slow until it had cleared the left field fence. He drove in one run. But it was already two outs and when the next Ripley batter sent one at ankle level down the third base line, Byhalia’s Mitchell Cartwright scooped it up before it hit dust. The third base coach protested vociferously, but the base ump was on the play.
The Indians were still having their troubles. But Kyle Sawyer doubled for the Indians’ first (and only) hit of the game. The next Byhalia batter struck out and the last batter in the rotation hit a line drive into the first bagger’s mitt. The Indians ended the third still seeking their first run.
Next was the top of the fourth and the Tigers really uncorked (no, not that kind ) the bats. Jeter started things with a single; then two charity bases for a full field and one out; another walk, run scored and bases loaded again. Chase Chapman doubled via an error at second and a pair of Tigers crossed the plate.
Coach Bubba Brown called Brown off the hill and warmed up Tavarus Neal. The bases were still full with a single out. Neal struck out the next batter on a change-up. But Josh Sanderson punched one over the fence and drove in three runs. The last out was a pop fly to center. The Indians went three and out. But the Tigers had already posted a 12-0 total at the end of four.
That score stood through the fifth.
The Indians will lose only one player to graduation, Andrew Brown. They should have a more experienced roster returning next season; however, they will be moving up to Class 4A.
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