Rebels down Central Hinds, one win from 3-AA crown

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 19, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; There is apparent truth to the previous observation that anyone in the Adams Christian lineup can come up big.

Catcher Eric Perry took his turn Tuesday.

With Central Hinds trailing 5-1 but not out of the game by any stretch, Perry connected on the first pitch he saw in the fifth for a three-run homer that broke the game open. The Rebels won it 11-1 an inning later to close in on a second straight championship in District 3-AA.

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The two teams will go again at 1 p.m. Friday, and the Rebels could wrap up the title and get into playoff mode before playing out the district string next week with two games against Prairie View.

&8220;If we win there, we&8217;ll clinch,&8221; Adams head coach Ron Rushing said. &8220;They&8217;re pretty loose. Coach (Gill) Morris had us in the postseason the last two years, and this is kind of leading up to the playoffs. They&8217;ve been here before, and they&8217;re starting to turn it on a little bit.&8221;

Then there&8217;s Perry, who hasn&8217;t been here before after he sat out last season with a knee injury. Yet in a lineup that has had different catalysts in a number of games this season, Perry came up with the big hit that may started everyone thinking about the playoffs.

The Rebels (7-0, 15-2) couldn&8217;t get a hold to anything solid off Central Hinds sidearmer Nic Bethany until Perry connected and put one over the fence just to the right of center field.

&8220;His release point &8212; he&8217;s a submariner and had a lot of up and down movement,&8221; Perry said. &8220;It was hard to pick it up and know where it was going. After we saw him once or twice, we started picking it up pretty good.

&8220;The first time I got a base hit, but he kind of jammed me. The second time I had a hard time picking up the ball, and I struck out. The third time I went up and relaxed. I knew I would at least get a double out of it, but when I got to first coach told me to touch all the bases.&8221;

Perry&8217;s shot came with no outs after C.J. Wright singled to lead off and David Alton New doubled off the fence in right. Bethany, who had retired seven straight up until the fifth and was tagged with two unearned runs in the second, got the next three batters out before running into trouble in the seventh.

Clay Floyd singled to lead off the sixth before Luke Brumfield&8217;s bunt single moved Floyd to second. Foster then singled in Floyd, and Brumfield scored when the ball got by the center fielder and allowed Foster to reach third.

Wright reached on a throwing error to score courtesy runner Gary Brown and end the game.

&8220;That got to him,&8221; Central Hinds head coach Todd Montgomery said of Bethany. &8220;He&8217;s a great pitcher. He&8217;s got potential to go somewhere. He didn&8217;t throw but about 88 pitches. That&8217;s his first loss this season. They hit a bomb, everything hits the fan, but you&8217;ve got to deal with adversity. We look to bounce back and play a little better Friday.&8221;

The Cougars (5-2, 8-5) bounced back early when they got a run off Foster in the second to tie it at 1-1. The Rebels got four in the bottom half with Josh Calcote scoring when Foster was hit with the bases loaded, Floyd reaching the plate on a fielder&8217;s choice and an error scoring two runs.

But Bethany got a strikeout to end the inning and retired the side in order in the third and fourth.