Toppers in tourney play
The Toppers, like many high school teams in the area, are participating in the Northeast Mississippi Coaches Association for Better Baseball tournament this week, but their quest for the summer title actually began last week in the seeding portion of the tourney in Calhoun City.
Houston breezed through their first game, shutting out Bruce 10-0 in five innings in Round One.
“They were swinging really well,” said coach Scott Gann of the Toppers against the Trojans. “They put runs in scoring position and we had some excellent pitching from Clay Hillhouse and Zack Poteete.”
The win set the Toppers against South Pontotoc on Friday.
The Toppers took a 3-0 lead through the top of the second and held South’s rally at the bottom of the frame. Hunter Moore allowed two walks with one out, but Denver McQuary and Garrison Howell finally got to “roll it” as McQuary made the stop at short and flipped the ball to Howell on second for an out. Howell hit Clay Faulkner at first for the double play to end the inning.
The Toppers added another run in the top of the third as Justin Kimbrough reached on a pitching error and stole second. Hillhouse walked and Wes Parker’s single loaded the bases. Moore walked to score Kimbrough and move the Toppers to 4-0.
In the top of the Sixth, Faulkner singled and stole second and Poteete singled to move him to third. Poteete then played the strategy angle, taking a lead off first and drawing the pitcher to allow Faulkner to steal home before taking the sacrifice out.
The Toppers held their lead and allowed no runs from South for the 5-0 win.
They followed up their win with another against Calhoun City, 6-2, to earn them a bye in the championship tournament this week.
The Toppers were scheduled to take the field in the single-elimination tournament in New Albany Tuesday at 12:15 p.m. playing the winner of Monday’s game against Amory and Saltillo.
Semi-finals and the championship game will be played Wednesday.
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About Lisa Voyles
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