Solid arms carry Tigers in spring break play

MOOREVILLE – Josh Carlisle may not have been in the Hatley Tigers’ starting rotation last season, but the senior’s 3-0 record has shown he’s more than ready for it this season.
Carlisle’s complete game, two-hitter carried the Tigers in a 5-2 win over Mantachie at the Mooreville spring break tournament on Friday.

Melissa Meador/Monroe Journal Hatley's Josh Carlisle allowed four hits and struck out nine in his win over Mantachie on Friday.

Melissa Meador/Monroe Journal
Hatley’s Josh Carlisle allowed four hits and struck out nine in his win over Mantachie on Friday.

“I’m very proud of Josh. He’s worked hard, stepped up and been a go-to guy,” Hatley coach John Harris said. “He came in late innings and closed a lot for us last year, and he’s accepted the role as a starter well this year. He’s done a great job.”
Hatley (10-1) took the lead for good in the bottom of the third with heads-up base running from Russ Johnson and Garrett Gray on a double steal.
Johnson’s RBI single to plate Andrew Gray in the fourth and Garrett Gray’s bases-loaded walk brought in another pair of runs.
“We did a good job of scoring some runners in scoring position today,” Harris said. “We’ve had a little trouble with that lately. We did a good job putting the ball in play, having good at-bats and getting on base any way we can.”
Carlisle, who struck out nine on the afternoon, worked around a leadoff triple and a walk in the top of the sixth for the win.
Carlisle’s performance came on the heels of a 3-0 win over Potts Camp on Thursday, in which Johnson, an ICC signee, pitched a complete game, giving up two hits and striking out ten.
“Pitching has been amazing so far,” Harris said. “Coach (Jamie) Edwards has done a good job working with them, and they’ve been there all year for us so far. We live off pitching and defense, and it’s winning us games right now.”
Hatley opens up division play on the road on Tuesday against Baldwyn and host the Bearcats on Friday and Mooreville on Saturday. The Tigers will host 2A favorite East Union on March 26.
“We’re getting there as far as at the plate goes, and we’re solid on pitching and defense,” Harris said. “We’re going to have to do a little better job of getting our hits when people are in scoring position and getting runners on base. We have a tough division. We know everyone will pitch and hit well, so we know we have to bring it every night.”