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Homerun leads Sports Center to blowout victory

Ben Hillyer | The Natchez Democrat — Whittington Insurance’s Mason Nettles reaches for the ball as Sports Center’s Darren Smith safely steals third base.
Ben Hillyer | The Natchez Democrat — Whittington Insurance’s Mason Nettles reaches for the ball as Sports Center’s Darren Smith safely steals third base.

By Reina Kempt

NATCHEZ — Sports Center’s catcher Alex McCready got things off to a quick start after pounding one out of the park in his first at-bat of the evening. His homerun also brought in second baseman Ben White for the early 2-0 lead.

The second inning led to frustration for Whittington as pitcher Tyler Lindsey’s pitches could not be handled by catcher Dylan Troxler. The missed catches led to Sports Center’s left fielder Josh Pounds stealing second, third and home on consecutive passed balls to give them a 3-0 lead.

Whittington head coach David Lindsey said this unfortunate aspect of their loss was unavoidable.

“It was curveballs he was throwing, and it’s hard for a catcher to catch curves,” Lindsey said. “They were working for us, so there’s nothing we could do about that.”

Ben Hillyer | The Natchez Democrat — Sports Center’s Ben White, below, waits to tag out Whittington Insurance’s Tyler Lindsey.
Ben Hillyer | The Natchez Democrat — Sports Center’s Ben White, below, waits to tag out Whittington Insurance’s Tyler Lindsey.

Tyler Lindsey had 10 strikeouts in the game using the effective curve ball but Whittington had to pick their poison.

White would make another score, 4-0, in the third inning running home because of Whittington’s passed ball.

In the bottom of the fourth, Whittington finally saw some life as right fielder Clayton Devening slid home thanks to short stop Andrew Merriett’s hard hit to right field to make the score 4-1. This would be the only action Whittington would see for the rest of the game after White taking the mound in place of Cedric Dunbar for Sports Center.

Dunbar said his pitching game went as planned for the evening.

“It was fine,” he said. “It got a little distracting when the other team was talking to me while I pitched, but it was fun.”

Distractions were evident for Dunbar as his pitching got wild at times forcing two walks after hitting batters. Dunbar said he tried not to let those slip-ups affect his game.

“Baseball players are supposed to have bad memory,” Dunbar said. “You’re not supposed to remember the bad. I just had to keep trying to pitch strikes.”

White, in only two innings of pitching time, had six strikeouts to his predecessor’s five.

In the fifth and final inning, Sports Center closed the deal with four more runs. Two coming from McCready’s hard hit to left field that brought in White and Darron Smith. Moments later, a bad throw from Whittington’s Troxler to the intended Lindsey brought in McCready and K.J. Robinson for the last runs of the game.

Sports Center head coach Cole Brown showed confidence in his team and their current four-game winning streak.

“When you’re well prepared and you have the better team, it’s going to end up in a victory for us,” he said.

Brown said he was especially pleased with White’s performance that evening.

“He’s a clutch player,” Brown said. “For an 11 year old he really does the best. His skills are really good.”

Both teams return to Duncan Park next week to continue their season.

 

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