Trisler, New hit grand slams as Rebels claim win

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 13, 2005

NATCHEZ &045; David Trisler better be careful &045; he may make it look easy.

But it’s not like he’s thinking grand slam each time he’s up with the bases loaded. In the sixth he actually didn’t go yard with the sacks packed, but he still came through with a single to right to score a run.

That at-bat, however, was one removed from a grand slam that highlighted a seven-run fifth to help the Adams Christian Rebels break the game open and take a 14-4 win over Simpson Academy in Game 2 of the Class AA state championship series and force a Game 3 at 6 p.m. Thursday at Simpson.

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But if you’re counting at home &045; and we know you are at this time of year &045; that was Trisler’s third grand slam in four games.

&uot;It was 2-0, and I was sitting on that fastball,&uot; Trisler said. &uot;I said if he threw one close, I’m crushing it. I was sitting on a fastball. It’s always good to go out there and see the bases juiced and have all those RBIs out there. I’m just trying to hit it hard and score some runs.&uot;

The worst part of it for Simpson was Trisler’s granny wasn’t the only one &045; David New got into the act in the sixth with another four-run homer that ended the game in six innings and gave the Rebels life in the series after going down quietly 5-1 in Game 1 Monday.

New and Trisler did what the Rebels have done all year, especially at their park &045; use the long ball to pile up big innings and send everyone home a little early.

&uot;The bats didn’t come alive (Monday),&uot; New said. &uot;We didn’t play our game. It was the state championship, and we came out a little tight. You can’t look at it like that. You’ve got to look at it like another game. We got the job done. I’m just trying to hit the ball hard every time. If you try to hit it out, it’s not going to happen.&uot;

Yet those long balls were what the Rebels needed to break out of a funk at the plate against Simpson starter Preston Harris and show they can still tee on a quality pitching no matter the stage. Harris retired the first 11 batters he faced before Cole Bradford slapped a double with two outs in the fourth and was left stranded.

By the time the Rebels came back to hit and trailing 3-0, New slapped a double to lead off in what may have been the ice-breaker. Jamie Morris followed with a single, Brian Smith walked and Clay Floyd was hit by a pitch to force in New for the team’s first run.

Ray Simpson then singled in a run to get things rolling.

&uot;It was ugly those first four innings,&uot; Adams Christian head coach Gill Morris said. &uot;We had the laziest cuts we’ve had maybe this season. The book on the Harris kid was he liked to work up in the zone, and it wasn’t like we didn’t go over that before the game. But David doubled in the gap, Jamie followed it up with a single to right, and it was on. Their pitcher started having trouble.&uot;

The bases got full again, and Bradford walked to score Floyd and tie it up at 3-3. Harris got Timmy Foster out, but Trisler than crushed one to right center to break it up and give the Rebels a 7-3 lead.

&uot;Today is really the first time we played in the heat,&uot; Simpson head coach Neill Bartling said. &uot;I think the high was 87 today. I think he ran out of gas before he normally does. I thought he pitched a heck of a game. Trisler is a great hitter, and we knew that coming in. We had held him down up until then, but big batters come through in big situations. He did that tonight.&uot;

It was enough for Bartling to pull Harris in favor of reliever Justin Priest, but the Rebels greeted him with similar efforts in the sixth. Bradford ignited the rally with a double that scored Floyd and Simpson, and Foster was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Trisler worked the count 1-2 before slapping a single opposite field to score Dustin Case, and New then unloaded the first pitch he saw just to the right of dead center for a walk-off grand slam.

&uot;I said, ‘Guys, don’t sit on this lead. They’re the defending state champs,’&uot; Gill Morris said of the sixth-inning rally. &uot;We hit some shots, and Trisler pitched a good ball game. The sixth inning, I guess we wouldn’t be denied. I said, ‘Let’s see if they bleed like we bleed.’ Once we got on top of them, we didn’t let up. I’m proud of them. I’m as proud of them as any guys I’ve had.&uot;

Trisler worked six solid innings on the mound and kept the Cougars guessing at the plate a bit with his offspeed. The Cougars took a 1-0 lead in the first when Priest singled in Cullen Kight after Kight reached on an error, and Lake Eiland later tagged a two-run homer in the fourth.

Eiland came up in the sixth and slapped another homer that trimmed the lead to 7-4.

&uot;He kept us off balance a little bit tonight,&uot; Bartling said. &uot;Eiland had a great night at the plate &045; one home run on the year and he had two tonight.&uot;