By Brandon Speck
Booneville shortstop Andrew Lambert threw a ball that landed beside him and teammate Chase Calvery tripped over first base, turning a sure double into an RBI single.
That all came as North Pontotoc overcame its own comedy of errors – as well as an 8-0 hole – and beat Booneville 14-9 Tuesday to clinch Division 1-3A.
“Guys kept fighting and some good things happened for them,” North coach Chad Anthony said. “We’re real thankful for that victory.”
The Vikings scored 12 unanswered runs after Booneville took an 8-0 lead to the fourth. The game took 3 hours, 9 minutes. The teams combined for 30 hits, 17 for Booneville (13-9, 4-4).
Booneville had five errors, one as a ball off the bat of Miciah Heard went Bill Buckner-esque through the legs of third baseman Tyler Newby. Winning pitcher Caleb Todd scored to give North a 9-8 lead in the fifth.
The Vikings (18-3, 7-1) added three more runs in the inning, as Booneville went to its third pitcher, one as a ball was dropped in right field. Trey Jolly made it 12-8 lead when Lambert lost his grip as he was throwing a pick attempt back home.
“I was really excited about our offensive approach,” Booneville coach Bo Sandlin said. “Defensively, we just fell apart.”
North was the one auditioning for the blooper reel in the first three innings. After Lambert’s two-run single, Todd let a ball past him at short. Two scored.
After Todd replaced starter Josh Tutor, Booneville two-hitter Daniel Calvery saw his pop to right lost in the sun above Austin Bray. Two scored for an 8-0 lead.
In North’s comeback, Colby Graham, Jolly and Cole Loggins had three straight RBI doubles in an eight-run fourth. Twelve went to the plate and seven runs came with two out.
“Once we scored, that kind of started giving a little momentum,” Anthony said.