Wildcat baseball, softball teams barely miss sweep of games over past week
From Staff Reports
The Greene County High School baseball team missed a perfect week on the diamond by just a couple of pitches. An extra-innings rally by East Central was the spoiler on Saturday as the Hornets scored three runs in the top half of the ninth inning to beat the Cats at Scott Bray Field.
GCHS rolled through non-region games against Perry Central and Citronelle earlier in the week, winning both clashes in five innings by double digits. Saturday’s matchup was much tighter and two teams went through regulation play tied at 1-1. Senior Drake Henderson had a great outing on the mound for GCHS, allowing just two hits over 8 and a third innings. He struck out ten and walked just one before leaving the game just shy of the 100-pitch mark.
That walked proved costly, however, for the Cats. After getting the leadoff batter to ground out to start the top of the ninth Henderson hit a batter and walked the next. Senior Peyton Roberts came in to relieve Henderson and inherited runners on first and second. A ground ball by the first batter he faced advanced runners to second and third with two outs. A walk loaded the bases, followed by a wild pitch and a 2-run double, to push the Hornets to a 4-1 lead. While the Cats did get a runner on in their half of the ninth, a ground out and two strikeouts sealed the win for the visitors.
Roberts had a hit and a run scored for GCHS, while senior Dylan Miller had a hit and the team’s lone RBI. Henderson, Kade Kittrell and Malachi Graham had a hit each.
The loss was a bit of a damper for the Wildcats, but not a major concern for head coach Nick Chatham. The fourth-year skipper said Monday he likes the way his team has been playing and that he was looking forward to this week’s action against strong teams from Vancleave and Bay High.
“I am excited about this week,” Chatham said. “We play a couple of really good teams in our final non-region games before getting into our region schedule next week with two games against Purvis.”
Cats clobber PCHS and Citronelle
Prior to Saturday’s game, GCHS had been taking advantage of opportunities against weaker pitching. On Tuesday and Friday, the Wildcats recorded 17 hits and 25 runs over the course of ten innings, earning wins over Perry Central (12-2) and Citronelle (13-0).
On Tuesday, the Wildcats scored four runs in the first and three more in the second to take a commanding lead over the visiting Bulldogs from New Augusta. The added five more in the bottom of the fourth to close out the win.
Roberts led the way with a 4-for-4 showing at the plate, with two doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored. Kittrell was 2-for3 with a double, an RBI and three runs scored. Malachi Graham was 1-for-2 with two RBIs, while sophomore Gannon Henderson was 2-for-3 with a RBI and a run scored. Sophomore Brayden Brewer, junior Caymon Floore and Drake Henderson also drove in a run apiece for GCHS.
Graham earned the win for GCHS as he held PCHS to just one hit over four innings, striking out five along the way. Henderson threw the final inning for the Wildcats, striking out all three batters he faced in the top of the fifth on just 11 pitches.
Roberts continued his hot hitting on Friday as GCHS rolled to a 13-0 win at Citronelle. Roberts was 3-for-4 at the plate with a triple, two RBIs and three runs scored. Graham also had a big night at the plate with a hit and two walks leading to a RBI and three runs scored. Bradley Snyder was also 1-for-2 at the plate with two walks, two runs scored and a RBI. Kittrell, Miller and Henderson also drove in runs for the Wildcats in the win.
On the mound, sophomore Conner West went the distance for the Cats. West allowed three hits over five innings of work and struck out eight along the way, compared to just one walk.
The Cats owned a 6-3 record headed into Tuesday’s scheduled game at Vancleave. Weather permitting GCHS will host Vancleave for game two of the series this Friday. They are set to travel to Bay High on Saturday and host Purvis on Tuesday for game one of the region-opening, home-and-away series with the Tornados.
Softball wins 3-of-4 during week
The GCHS Lady Wildcats dropped their opening game of Saturday’s tournament at D’Iberville for their third consecutive loss. Despite the outcome on the scoreboard, the hard-fought matchup with highly-touted West Lauderdale must have lit a fire for Greene County as the Lady Cats rolled off three straight wins for their longest such streak of the season.
GCHS actually took a 2-0 lead over the Knights in the first inning and was locked in a tight game through four. But, West Lauderdale scored three runs in the fifth and added a run in the sixth and another in the seventh en route to a 10-5 win.
Sophomore CharLee Meadows and junior Tiana Caver led GCHS at the plate. Caver was 3-for-3 at the plate with a triple, three RBIs and a run scored. Meadows finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Freshman Breeze Jordan added two hits, while junior Brooklyn Lee and sophomore Charleigh Stewart had a hit apiece in the loss.
Hannah Hillman took the loss in the pitcher’s circle for GCHS. Hillman allowed eight hits over five innings of work and was touched for five earned runs. Freshman Taylor Brewer tossed the final two innings for the Lady Cats. Taylor struck out two, while giving up two hits and two earned runs.
GCHS finishes tourney on hot streak
The Lady Cats bounced back from the loss to the Knights with tournament wins over Pascagoula and Moss Point on Saturday.
Against Pascagoula, junior Kat Garrett was the catalyst. Garrett was perfect at the plate and finished with three triples, three RBIs and two runs scored to pace her team.
Caver continued her hot hitting, going 2-for-3 against the Lady Panthers with a RBI. Jordan drove in a run and scored twice, while Hillman had a RBI and a run scored. Freshman Lisa Johnson made the most of her chance, scoring the team’s other run as a pinch runner.
Charleigh Stewart earned the win in the circle for GCHS, scattering four hits and striking out six over six innings of work. Brewer finished out the final inning to earn the save.
GCHS jumped out to a 5-run lead after the first inning against Moss Point and cruised to a 12-0 win in five innings. Garrett, Meadows and Caver led the way for the Lady Cats again. Meadows was 3-for-4 with four RBIs and two runs scored. Caver was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Garrett finished 3-for-4 with three runs and two RBIs. Jordan had a hit and three runs scored, while Brewer added a hit and senior Olivia Eubanks added a run scored.
Brewer earned the win in the circle with a complete game shutout. She gave up two hits, while striking out six.
The hot streak continued on Monday with a 10-0 waxing of visiting Gautier.
Meadows was 4-for-4 at the plate with a double and a RBI to lead the way for GCHS. Junior Hannah Hillman broke out with a 3-for-3 performance with a triple and three RBIs, while senior Kayla Mazzocchi had her best game this season with two triples and three RBIs. Garrett, Brooklyn Lee and Caver all had a hit and a RBI in the win.
Stewart scattered two hits and struck out seven over five innings to earn the pitching win.
Tuesday’s region opener at Sumrall was cancelled due to bad weather, but the Lady Cats still have a big week ahead.
Coach Tyler Barham said his team is scheduled to travel to Wayne County on Thursday and will follow that up with an appearance in the Jones College Tournament on Saturday where they will face Germantown and Petal. They are set to travel to Picayune on Monday and start region play at Poplarville next Thursday.