Bradford helps ACCS bury Pios

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 2, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; Maybe this is what shakes people out of a funk.

Just put Timmy Foster hitting right behind them.

It worked for Cole Bradford, who for quite possibly the first time in his career had slugger Foster hitting behind him in the No. 2 hole Saturday against Parklane. The Rebels pushed up that power with C.J. Wright hitting the No. 3 hole after the slugging outfield had become a fixture at cleanup.

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Bradford and Foster each went 3-for-3 with two doubles, and the trio combined to go 7-for-9 with seven runs batted in in a 10-4 mashing of Parklane for their 27th straight win at David &8220;Papa&8221; New Field.

&8220;Coach switched it around, and it worked,&8221; said Bradford, a Co-Lin signee. &8220;We just hit well today, and we&8217;re seeing it well and doing it. I hadn&8217;t been hitting the ball too well, but I&8217;m starting to see it better. I&8217;ve had that golf swing, but I finally kept my head in and had to drive it.&8221;

That&8217;s the beauty of the Rebels&8217; lineup, head coach Ron Rushing points out. Everyone has been hitting the ball so well lately that the 11 batters are more interchangeable parts than anything else. Now with the return of David New to the lineup as a designated hitter following shoulder surgery, it gives Rushing another option.

There&8217;s no arguing it when Austin Weeks comes off the bench midway through and gets only two at-bats &8212; a double and a solo homer.

And who wants to face Foster as the second man to bat in the first inning?

&8220;C.J. has been hitting the ball well, David Alton has been hitting the ball well &8212; everybody has been hitting it well,&8221; Rushing said. &8220;It&8217;s hard to make a lineup when they&8217;re hitting that well. (Foster in the No. 2 hole) just puts him up there faster. I think it puts a lot of pressure on the pitcher to get that first out. As long as everybody is hitting, we can do that.&8221;

Bradford and Foster delivered at the plate against Parklane&8217;s pitchers, including hits in the fourth and fifth innings to broke the game open. Bradford doubled in Clay Floyd for the first run in the fourth for a 5-2 lead, and walks to Foster and Wright loaded the bases before New walked to score Bradford.

In the fifth, Foster doubled to score Luke Brumfield and Bradford for an 8-2 lead.

&8220;They beat us last time at their place, and we wanted to keep our win streak going,&8221; Bradford said. &8220;We hit the ball well that game, but we just lost it in the bottom of the seventh on some errors and a couple bad plays. Parklane is ranked fifth in the state. They&8217;re a good team &8212; always are.&8221;

The Rebels (14-2) were able to take advantage of Parklane&8217;s pitching staff that was thinned out following last week&8217;s three district games with MRA. New&8217;s walk in the fourth was the final batter starter Warren Smith faced, and Russ Brown pitched into the fifth until giving up a RBI single by Brumfield and Bradford&8217;s single before both scored on Foster&8217;s double.

Foster had his shot off reliever Brantley Ray, who surrendered Weeks&8217; homer in the sixth.

&8220;We played a doubleheader Thursday night, and we played a single game Tuesday,&8221; Parklane head coach Kenny Jackson said. &8220;The guy who finished up (Ray), he&8217;s our Tuesday kid. That was probably our No. 5 and 6 pitchers today throwing for us. But they gave us a chance to win. We just got beat by an excellent ball club today.&8221;

The Pioneers (12-4) had chances for big innings off Adams pitchers Brian Sanderson and Corey Walker but couldn&8217;t come up with the big hit to open the door. They left a runner in scoring position in each inning after the first, including the bases loaded in the fourth when Sanderson got leadoff hitter Bubba Boggs on an infield groundout to end it.

Sanderson, a converted sidearmer who kept hitting the inside corner on righties, gave up a two-run single from Alex Langhart in the second that gave the Pioneers a 2-1 lead. After that, he allowed just two hits over the next three innings.

&8220;I think that&8217;s the first game he started,&8221; Rushing said. &8220;He did a wonderful job. We try to get it off the plate, come in, get it off the corner and move it in on the hands. He&8217;s never thrown (sidearm). We worked on his mechanics. I didn&8217;t know how to coach it &8212; I&8217;ve never had a sidearmer &8212; but we tried two or three things with his delivery and found what worked best.&8221;

The Rebels got three in the second to answer Parklane with Bradford doubling in Sanderson and Brumfield and Foster singling in Bradford for a 4-2 lead.