By David Wheeler
NETTLETON – Not everything has to be flashy.
Take the Amory Panthers 6-1 victory over the Nettleton Tigers Friday in Division 2-3A action.
Solid defense. Timely hitting. Solid pitching.
An unblemished 2-3A record in the early going. Solid.
“When Amory and Nettleton play, both teams seem to step it up,” Amory coach Chad Williams said. “We took advantage of a few of their mistakes, Booch got a big hit, and for the most part (Cody) Holliway threw the ball well.”
Amory’s Holliway went the full seven innings, scattering six hits. But that also meant Holliway and the Amory defense had to escape a handful of Nettleton scoring threats.
In the bottom of the second, the Tigers (2-5, 0-2) left runners on second and third with one out. Likewise in the fifth; and left the bases loaded in the seventh frame as well.
“We did the same thing against South Pontotoc Tuesday,” said Nettleton coach Matthew Addison, who starts only two seniors. “The difference between us winning and losing ball games right now is getting the big hit with runners in scoring position.”
Amory, on the other hand, basically scored when it got runners on base.
With the score tied 1-1 entering the fifth inning, the Panthers gained the advantage on the scoreboard. A run-scoring single by Josh Randle plated two runs to help give Amory a 4-1 lead.
Then in the sixth inning, a bases-loaded single by Wesley Boock scored two more, and the Panthers could chalk up an early-season division win.
“Holliway stepped up, and we made the defensive plays when we had to,” Williams said. “Early, we did leave some runners on, and we did escape some of their scoring situations.”
Amory scored its first run in the fourth on a bunt single by Ryan Hill. Nettleton responded with a Johnny Young double in the fourth, who scored later on a balk.
Amory plays at Tupelo today at 1 p.m.
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