Creighton fans 17 in 1-0 win

By By Jeff Byrd / staff writer
April 3, 2002
QUITMAN Quitman lefty Matthew Creighton was quick to thank his defense for backing up his pitching effort here in Tuesday night's crucial Division 5-4A clash with Northeast Lauderdale.
The only thing was, the Panthers defense had a pretty easy night of it having just a couple of plays. That was because Creighton pretty well handled things from the mound, striking out a career high 17 in the 1-0 shutout of the Trojans.
With the win, Quitman retains sole possession of first place in the division at 7-1 and in the process assured itself a playoff berth since they now have two wins over third place Northeast. The Trojans fell to 5-3 in the division and are now a game back of second place Northeast Jones.
The Trojans managed five hits against the lanky Creighton and had a golden chance to get a tying run in the fifth but failed to execute a squeeze bunt. The breakdown left Northeast head coach Chris Harper befuddled.
Quitman head coach Brett Rigby said both Creighton and catcher Auston Edwards came up with an excellent counter move to the squeeze.
Edwards made the easy tag on Trojan courtesy runner Jonathan White for the second out. It was just one of four plays the defense had to make in the game. Only one fly ball out and two ground ball plays had to be made.
The loss spoiled an excellent effort by Trojan pitcher Will Matlock. Matlock struck out 11 for his side and also managed the two hardest hits for the Trojan offense.
Creighton agreed and ironically, he had the single-best at bat against Matlock battling off five strikes before drawing a one-out walk in the bottom of the fourth.
Following Creighton's walk, Lorenzo White was inserted as a courtesy runner. White went to second on the wild pitch and then, in what Rigby said was a key move, swiped third base.
With runners on the corner, Shirley hit a hard grounder to second. Anthony McKenzie, running out at first, was forced out. But White scored easily as Shirley reached first in time to prevent the double-play. The sequence accounted for the game's only run.
In the Trojan fifth, Matlock led off with a hard-rolling double up the middle. Wesley Gray then laid down a perfect bunt creating the first-and-third with no out.
Cory Chance had two hits to join Matlock for the 11-15 Trojans.
Quitman, now 19-4 and ranked 15th in the state, got hits from Adam Neal and Jonathan Russell.

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