Arch-rivals East Central and Vancleave split a pair of Region 8-5A games over the weekend, and the results leave the Hornets atop the league standings after the first week of play.
On Friday, the home-standing Bulldogs took a 4-3 win that tied the series up a game apiece after East Central won at home 8-0 on Tuesday. When the teams returned to Hurley on Saturday night, the Hornets registered a 2-0 shutout victory that gave ECHS the series 2-1 and dropped the Bulldogs to the last spot in the race at 1-2.
In Saturday’s win, the Hornets got a combined one-hitter on the hill from Brayson Owenby and Anthony Tanner. Tanner wound up with the win in three frames of work when ECHS scored both runs in the bottom of the sixth to break a scoreless tie. Owenby struck out nine in four innings and Owenby struck out four.
Tanner and Brandt Dickerson tallied RBI-singles in the sixth for the Hornets. Tanner had half od East Central’s four hits in the game.
Bulldog hurler Tyler West was the tough-luck loser in the contest, as he tossed a complete game allowing just the aforementioned four hits and striking out four before allowing the run-scoring singles to Tanner and Dickerson in his final frame of work.
In the VHS win on Friday night, both teams were tied at 2-2 after the first inning and the Bulldogs took the lead for good with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third and held on for the win.
Robert Tinson had a single and drove in a pair of runs for VHS in the win, while Hunter Parker and Tanner Willis each chipped in pair of hits apiece to the winning effort. West and Aidan Tapp each had an RBI apiece.
Haydn Porter recorded a run-scoring double for ECHS, while Owenby and Logan Terry each drove in a run for the Hornets.
Sophomore Hunter Haper picked up the win going the distance scattering just three hits and striking out seven. Eli Smith suffered the tough-luck loss as he also hurled a complete game striking out four and allowing eight hits.
The reason, for now, that the Hornets are in sole possession of the top spot in the region race and the Bulldogs hold down the bottom slot is that the George County-Gautier series was not completed last week and won’t be until the last week of the regular season.
The two teams weren’t able to play on Saturday due to the GCHS prom taking place that night, so the teams stand 1-1 in the league after Gautier rallied for a 4-3 win Friday night at home.
The Rebels took a 3-0 lead with a trio of runs in the second stanza but were shut out the rest of the way by Ole Miss signee Kaden Irving, who finished with 12 strikeouts and picked up the win allowing five hits.
The Gators cut into the three-run deficit with a single run in the bottom of the third and then rallied to take the lead for good in the fourth frame scoring three runs including a huge two-run homer run by Cotorrian Keeton.
Matthew Tanner also had an RBI-single in the win for GHS, while Quincy Roberts drove in a run as well.
Andrew Neilsen started and took the loss for GCHS. The Rebels knocked off GHS 11-1 Tuesday night to open the series, leaving both teams at 1-1 at this point in the season.