B&K wins T.M. Jennings titlePublished 12:01am Wednesday, June 27, 2012
NATCHEZ — B&K Bank and its starting pitcher, Shavaki Herrington, put an exclamation point at the end of a perfect season Tuesday night by capturing the T.M. Jennings 11- and 12-year-old championship.
Herrington tossed a no-hitter and struck out nine East Honda batters to lead B&K to the 14-0 championship win.
“My hind catcher (Chris Scott) was giving me great targets where I like it in my sweet spots,” Herrington said.
Herrington said throwing the no-hitter was nothing new for him this year, and he was slightly disappointed in the imperfect way his team capped off perfection.
“(The no-hitter) feels alright,” he said. “I’ve done it plenty of games, But we weren’t playing our best like we usually play. We’ve played a lot better than that.”
B&K head coach Ernest Woods Sr. said he was proud of his team’s effort this season.
“We practiced hard and got a good group of kids,” he said. “We knew what to expect out of them.”
East Honda was slightly overmatched in the contest and was also playing short-handed with only eight players. But head coach John Johnson said his team did well to make it to the title game.
“At the beginning (of the season) we kind of looked like the ‘Bad News Bears,’” he said. “But we came along and turned things around.”
B&K jumped out to an early 9-0 lead through two innings of play. The team scored five runs on two hits and three walks in the first inning.
Herrington started the inning off with a triple, and Ernest Woods Jr. added a single in the inning.
B&K kept the pressure on East Honda in the second inning with four runs on three hits. Herrington again tripled in the inning and scored on an error when he attempted to turn his three-bagger into an inside-the-park home run.
Scott did hit an inside-the-park homer four batters later that scored two runs. Woods Jr. added a single in the frame.
Scott said he did not know how far he was going to be able to run as the ball rolled toward the empty right-centerfield fence.
“I didn’t really look for it. I just ran,” he said. “It feels good for it to be in the championship game.”
East Honda pitcher Willie Johnson struck out the side in the third inning, but he was forced out of the game in the fourth inning by a pitch count.
B&K added five more runs in the fourth without collecting a hit. Three walks, a hit-by-pitch and several wild pitches led to B&K’s 14-0 advantage.
Herrington and Woods Jr. led B&K with two hits and three runs a piece in the contest. Scott also scored three times, and Desiree Gooden and Jalen Pollard each scored twice. Justin Bailey accounted for B&K’s other run.
Woods Sr. said finishing off the 19-0 season was a great accomplishment for his team.
“Each game the pressure kept building more and more,” he said. “We have a few scares and played from behind. But these kids took it in stride and stayed steady.”