South wins pair of baseball games
June 11, 2001
HATTIESBURG n His team trailing 6-4 in the bottom of the ninth with two outs, North Pike's Buddy Van Norman did what any all-star is supposed to do.
With two strikes, Van Norman slammed a three-run homer to left field to give the South a 7-6 come-from-behind win over the North in the Class 1A-2A-3A Mississippi High School Baseball All-Star Game at Pete Taylor Park Saturday afternoon.
just went for it."
Before the last-inning heroics, the North had all but had its way with the South, stalling 11 of its runners on base, including two back-to-back
innings when the South left the bases loaded.
Both squads played follow-the-leader for two innings in the fourth and fifth, when the North set a scenario and the South duplicated it. In the fourth inning, under steadily drizzling skies, the North set the bar by swatting a three-run homer to take a 4-0 lead, and the South did the very same in its half of the inning to cut the lead to 4-3.
Leading 1-0 at the top of the fourth, the North's Jamie Gant took his first pitch deep over the left-center field wall, bringing home Chad Greenlee and Jim McCullough.
Trailing 4-0, the South responded with a three-run blast of its own. After Buddy Pellegrino and West Lauderdale's Brad McKee reached on throwing errors from third base, starting pitcher Cole Zumbro swatted his 55th career home run over the right center field fence to pull his squad within one run.
But the North, which finished with just four hits, tacked on two more runs in the next inning when Chris Stewart loaded the bases on walks and Baty hit a sharp grounder past first base, driving in two runs and putting the North ahead 6-3.
Once again, the South mimicked the North in the bottom of the fifth inning when Greenlee loaded the bases on three straight walks. The South, however,
could only score one run, an RBI single by McKee to right field that narrowed the North's lead to two runs.
McKee, who entered the game in the ninth and struck out one, picked up the win. Ryan Terry of Houlka took the loss.
The South squad had seven hits scattered over nine innings and committed no errors.
South 7, North 5: Petal's Jason Lowery hit two singles and Hattiesburg's Cliff Russum, the South's starting pitcher, dominated through three innings, striking out five and allowing just one hit in the Class 4A-5A game Saturday night.
Russum, a University of Southern Mississippi signee, won the South's MVP award. Hattiesburg third baseman Craig Tatum won the South's defensive MVP award.
Russum, who singled once, drove in a run off a fielder's choice, followed by a throwing error that gave the South a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning. Hattiesburg shortstop Matt Shepherd increased the lead to 3-0 on the following at-bat when he reached on an error, driving in a runner from third.
Meridian's Sanduan Dubose launched a three-run double to the left-center field wall to put the South up 5-0 in the fourth.
The North squeezed out a run in the bottom of the fourth off Bart Smith's RBI single before South pitcher Tony Sipp of Moss Point struck out three
straight batters to end the inning. Smith, of Oxford, won the Mark Vinson Award for courage.
The North, which finished with 11 hits, added another run in the bottom of the fifth on a single by Starkville's Jereme Milons.
The North squad clawed its way back into the game in the bottom of the sixth inning when Madison Central's Brandon Ingle hit a two-run single to
right-center field to cut the lead to 7-4.
Milons tacked on another run for the North in the bottom of the seventh to make it 7-5 after he scored on a wild pitch by Hattiesburg's Josh Grant.