Delta Charter Storm beats Oak Grove Tigers 1-0
Published 12:24 am Wednesday, March 20, 2019
By TIM GUERCIO
The Natchez Democrat
FERRIDAY — The Delta Charter Storm won their game Tuesday afternoon with district opponent the Oak Grove Tigers.
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The game was a pitchers’ duel all the way down to the bottom of the last inning. The Storm won the game when a wild pitch sent Payton Roberts home from third, which ended the game. Final score Delta Charter 1 Oak Grove 0.
Preston Higgins started the game for Delta Charter and settled in by managing two walks to go along with two strikeouts in the first inning.
Higgins got the Storm out of the second inning with help twice from shortstop Eli Brown. The first time was a line drive hit right at Brown which he caught for the out, the second was a ground ball that he came up with and over to first in plenty of time to get the Storm off the field in a bases loaded situation.
Chad Ashburn pitching for Oak Grove had command of his pitches and was in control also with two strikeouts and infield groundouts through two innings.
Higgins on the mound for the third inning gave up a double to the fence by David Bruce, which came in the middle of two strikeouts for Higgins. Fielding his position Higgins grabbed a comebacker to the mound and threw to third base to get Bruce, who was caught trying to make something happen on the base path.
In the third inning the Storm got a big defensive play from Freddie Mango who ran down a blast over his head in deep centerfield. Mango made a stretched-out, over-the-shoulder catch to save a run and end the inning.
For the top of the sixth inning Head Coach Mitch Ashmore for Delta Charter moved third baseman Landon Davis to the mound to relieve Higgins who had worked the Storm out of several jams and managed five shut out innings.
Davis, taking over with a fresh arm and facing Tiger pitcher Ashburn, gave up a single to him. Davis however got the next three batters out in order. The Storm however couldn’t score any runs in their sixth and the inning ended with the score still tied 0-0.
Davis taking the mound again for the top of the seventh walked the first batter Lane Warren, next up was Reid Milligan who rifled a shot to leftfield; runners on first and second with no outs. The next batter for Oak Hill is David Bruce who grounds one to the shortstop Brown, who makes the right play by turning and firing quickly to third base for the force out. Davis gets the next two Tiger batters to strike out, and the Storm go to the bottom of the seventh to try and win it.
Ashburn still pitching a shut out for himself comes out for the seventh Leading off Roberts hits a ground ball to the Tiger shortstop that eats him up as Roberts hustles down to first base and beats the late throw.
Next up is Drew Brown; Ashburn in a gritty performance starts to show signs of fatigue, he strikes out Brown but the ball gets by the catcher so Roberts gets an easy steal of second. The next batter up was Chandler Harrison. Ashburn makes his only bad pitch of the night as it gets away from him and all Roberts has to do is jog down to third. Harrison trying to knock in his teammate gets ahold of one but it lands foul down the right field line. The next pitch was a wild pitch that sent Roberts running home to score easy and win the game for Delta Charter.
“I went out there and did my job, I depended on my teammates,” said starter Higgins after the game. “When I came out I was confident that Landon would throw strikes.” Davis got his chance in a big game.
“I had to get out there and be a bulldog and throw strikes, coach Ashmore told me you got it now, finish it off,” Davis said.
The win goes to Davis and the loss goes to Ashburn.