By David Wheeler/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal
SPRINGVILLE – South Pontotoc head baseball coach Bryan Buckner was understandably unapologetic Friday night.
“We’ll take it.”
What Buckner and his Cougars will take is a 10-9 victory over the Mooreville Troopers in nine innings in an early, but key, Division 2-3A matchup.
“I’m excited we didn’t quit, and finally found a way to win,” Buckner said. “We didn’t protect the lead very well, and we didn’t find a way to close out the win.
“But on the positive, we hit the way we’ve needed to hit all year.”
Mooreville (9-4, 1-1) had tied the contest in the top of the seventh when Ben Seay led off the inning with a single, and eventually scored on an error.
Both teams advanced runners into scoring position in the eighth, but did not plate a run.
Then in the bottom of the ninth, two Cougars reached base after being hit by pitches, with Colton Rogers scoring the winning run on a wild pitch.
“Give South Pontotoc credit for winning their home game,” said Mooreville head coach Derek Thompson, whose Troopers had won their home game against the Cougars 3-1 on Tuesday. “I’m proud of my guys for the way they battled.”
South Pontotoc (5-8, 1-1) jumped out of the gate quickly by scoring four runs in each of the first two innings for an 8-3 lead. That was highlighted by a first-inning home run by Benjamin Bowen.
Peyton Belk led the Cougars with five hits.
But Mooreville kept chipping away, scoring a run in every inning of regulation baseball except the sixth. The Mooreville offense was fueled by a fourth-inning home run by John Peugh.