Amory rides fast start over Blue Devils

Dillon Barnes, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, Tupelo
·2 min read

Apr. 7—BOONEVILLE — Amory rode a hot start and added a few late insurance runs to extend its win streak to five games.

The No. 10-ranked Panthers used some critical mistakes from No. 8-ranked Booneville in the third inning to build a big lead, and held off the Blue Devils' comeback attempt for a 10-8 win in Division 1-3A play on Tuesday.

Amory (12-7, 3-4) totaled seven of its 12 hits and used three Booneville errors to build an 8-2 lead through the first three innings.

"I thought we handled the bats well early," Amory head coach Cade Hoggard said. "We made some base running mistakes, and kind of left some runs out there. But I'm very proud of the way the guys fought on the road."

Booneville (11-7, 5-1) wouldn't go quietly, though. The Blue Devils loaded the bases in each of the last three innings, and they had the tying run on second in the seventh inning. Amory turned to Tyler Sledge to slam the door for the save after using starter Bo Rock and Hunter Jones in relief.

"Knowing I'm probably the only one left to get the start at home on Thursday, I knew I had to keep my pitch count low and come straight at them — pound the zone," said Sledge.

Amory saw its 8-2 lead dwindle to 8-7 to start the seventh, but the Panthers added two key insurance runs on an RBI single from Clayton Reese and stolen a run with some savvy base running from Will McComb on a throw down to second.

Reese was 3 for 4 with two RBIs. Sledge was also 3 for 4 with an RBI. Walker Maranto and Bryce Glenn each added a pair of hits.

Sledge inherited the bases loaded with one out, walking Kyle Church to start his outing, but bounced back with a strikeout and a flyout.

Booneville left 10 runners on base, including eight in the final three innings.

"You've just got to chip away," Booneville coach Kevin Williams said. "We had a shot to win it right there with the winning run on first base and our three and four hole guys up. We had what we wanted, and at the end of the day it just didn't fall our way."

Extra Bases

Big Inning: Ethan Kimbrough's two-RBI double highlighted a six-run third inning as Amory chased Booneville starter Ben Davis.

Big Stat: Booneville senior Jackson McCoy was 3 for 3 with five RBIs, and he was a home run shy of the cycle.

Coach Speak: "It's two good ball clubs. Kudos to them, they kept fighting. That's what you want. If we were down like that, I'd hope my boys fight like that." — Hoggard