Quitman blanks McComb
By By Austin Bishop / EMG Regional Sports Director
April 19, 2002
QUITMAN Going into Thursday night's first round of the MHSAA Class 4A State Baseball playoffs, the Quitman High School Panthers were wanting to leave the McComb High School Tigers with something to think about.
They had plenty to ponder through their minds on the long bus ride back home as the Panthers defeated McComb 18-0 behind 14 hits and the no-hit pitching of Matt Creighton.
The Panthers, now 24-7 on the year, scored at least two runs in each inning, including 10 in the fourth on the way to the blowout win.
The two teams play again tonight in McComb at 7. A third game in the two-out-of-three series, if necessary, would be played in Quitman at 1 p.m.
Despite throwing the third no-hitter of his prep career, Creighton didn't think he had command of his pitches.
While the big left-hander just struck out five hitters in the game, he got through the five-inning contest on 78 pitches, including a half-dozen in the first inning. Four of the first five McComb batters were retired on ground ball outs.
While Quitman scored two runs in the bottom of the first, the Panthers could have just as easily gone scoreless.
With runners on first and second and one out, QHS senior speedster LaMarcus Anderson, who now has 36 steals on the season, got picked off second base and was trapped in a rundown between second and third.
Anderson extended the rundown and finally reached third with the steal when the ball was misplayed at third.
Jonathan Russell followed with an RBI single and Dustin Hamrick scored on a groundout to make it 2-0.
Anderson kept piling on the damage, as he highlighted a three-run second inning with a two-run double, drove in a run in the three-run third with a single to left and walked with the bases loaded in the fourth for his sixth RBI of the game.
Leading 8-0 going into the bottom of the fourth, the Panthers used six hits including two singles each from Russell and Creighton four walks, and two hit batters to score 10 runs.
But Rigby spent 20 minutes talking to his team after the game, reminding them that the series was far from over.