Hounds hold on to clip Saints

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 11, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; With the Huntington Hounds looking to nail down the second seed for next week’s District 7-1A tournament, the Trinity Saints were playing the role of spoiler.

However, Huntington played small ball, got a solid pitching performance from senior Bronson Rhodes and turned two key double plays to take a hard-fought 6-5 win over Trinity Friday afternoon in the regular-season finale for both teams.

Huntington (5-3) will play No. 3 seed Pine Hills at 7 p.m. Monday in Liberty. Trinity (2-6) will play top-seeded Amite School Center at 5 p.m. Monday.

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&uot;We sweat out a lot of games,&uot; Huntington coach Michael McAnally said. &uot;We don’t have the big bats on our team, so we have to score any way we can.&uot;

With the Hounds holding a 6-4 lead going into the bottom of the seventh, Rhodes walked Cap White and Gregory Ketchings with no outs.

Then head coach Mitch Ashmore brought in Will Moak from first base to relieve Rhodes. After getting Trinity pitcher Andy Moon to groundout for the first out, Walt Ketchings was intentionally walked to load the bases.

&uot;Bronson’s our best control batter,&uot; McAnally said. &uot;He didn’t have his best stuff, but he made the big pitches when he had to and he got us a win. We’ll take an ugly win.&uot;

Rhodes allowed two earned runs on five hits, six walks and two hit batsman and struck out four in six-plus innings.

Ryan Rachal hit a ball into the gap between center field and right field, but Huntington centerfielder Kyle Johnson made an outstanding catch that allowed White to score that cut the lead to one. Sam Couvillion then grounded back to Moak for the final out of the contest.

&uot;It was a tough district loss,&uot; Trinity first-year head coach Jeremy Loy said. &uot;Their pitcher (Rhodes) did a good job. He was throwing strikes all game. Our guys fought back at the end, but we came up a little short.&uot;

Despite taking the loss, Moon allowed just three earned runs on four hits, struck out two and walked four in four-plus innings. Rachal relieved Moon and allowed one run on one hit and struck out one in three innings.

As for the intentional pass to Walt Ketchings, McAnally said, &uot;We put the winning run on in the seventh. That’s the respect we have for Walt. Kyle made a great play in center field.&uot;

&uot;They did a good job,&uot; Loy said. &uot;They were around the plate and kept them off balance. They (Huntington) just played small ball in the fifth and that was the difference in the game.&uot;

Trinity took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Moon reached on a fielder’s choice, moved to second on a Walt Ketchings single, went to third when Rachal flied out to right field and scored on an error by catcher Ples Arthur as Ketchings was trying to steal second base.

Huntington tied the score at 1 when designated hitter Trey Keith singled, stole second and scored as he beat the throw to home plate.