Huntington heads into championship

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 20, 2001

It wasn’t easy, but the Huntington Hounds are right were they expected to be – in the finals of the MPSA District 5-1A baseball tournament.

The Hounds (18-4) advanced to the finals with a close 5-4 win over Amite School Center. They will play the winner of today’s game between Amite and Trinity at 5:30 p.m.

&uot;I’ve been coaching against Amite for 10 years, and it always seems like the games are one-run games,&uot; Huntington head coach Mitch Ashmore said.

Email newsletter signup

In the early going it looked like the Hounds would coast to the victory, but after taking a 4-0 lead into the sixth inning, the momentum began to shift in the favor of the Rebels.

A solo homer by John Birdsong broke up Barrett Kiser’s shutout in the top of the sixth to cut the lead to 4-1. And the Rebels added a second run in the frame when John David McKay drove in Josh Lagrange with an RBI double.

With two outs and runners on second and third in the top of the seventh, the Rebels tied the score thanks to a 2 RBI single by William Dillan.

The momentum was clearly in the Rebels’ corner heading into the bottom of the seventh, but two costly Amite mistakes gave Huntington the break it was waiting for.

Rebel reliever John David Mckay started the inning strong when he got Toby Wilson to pop up to the catcher. He then struck out Trey Mason, but Mason was able to advance to first on a passed ball on strike three. Mason stole second to get into scoring position, and he scored with two outs when Wyatt Kemp reached on an error by the shortstop.

&uot;We had Mason stealing third on that pitch,&uot; Ashmore said. &uot;That caused the third baseman to move toward the bag, and it forced the shortstop to have to move further than he normally would to try and make the play.&uot;

Kenneth Clayton had two RBI for Huntington, while Wilson and Luke Davis drove in one run each.