By Jay Tidwell/Special to the Journal
ECRU – In a series dominated by strong pitching, it was North Pontotoc which had the stronger arms.
Brandon Bailey pitched five innings and struck out 11 and Kyle Robbins – who pitched a one-hitter in Game 1 – tossed two shut-out innings in relief as the Vikings held on for a 4-1 win against Amory on Saturday to clinch their first Class 4A North championship.
Amory’s hard-throwing right-hander, Will Cox (12-1), pitched all six innings and struck out eight. But the Vikings (26-4) took advantage of three fielding errors by the Panthers – one of which led to two runs in the second.
“Our guys were not intimidated,” said Vikings coach Chad Anthony, whose squad topped the Panthers 1-0 in Game 1 on Thursday. “We knew we were going to have to face Cox and they accepted the challenge. They weren’t afraid to fail.”
Amory (21-8), the Division 4-4A and defending North state champions, managed only three hits against the side-arming Bailey (6-1).
“The fastball was working, and they weren’t making much contact on it,” Bailey said. “The only hits they had was when I left the curveball high a few times, and that was my fault. We all played good and were real focused.”
Nate Mounce batted 3 for 3 with two RBIs, Devin Rodgers slugged a solo home run in the third and Robbins added an RBI single in the fifth to lead North. Walton Chaney scored Amory’s lone run on a wild pitch in the fourth.
“I thought he (Cox) went out and competed, but when they put the ball in play, we didn’t make plays on it,” said Amory coach Chad Williams. “The bottom line is: We didn’t hit. And if you don’t hit, you’re not going to win the baseball game.”