Special to the Journal
BOONEVILLE – Northeast Tigers head coach Kent Farris had to piece together his pitching rotation Saturday because of some arm soreness.
The puzzle came together nicely for Farris, as the Tigers gave the coach his first sweep of the Itawamba Indians.
Northeast held off Itawamba in Game 1 of the doubleheader 6-4, then earned the winning run on a bases loaded walk in Game 2 for a 6-5 victory in North Division action.
It was Northeast’s second North series, while it was the division opener for Itawamba.
The Tigers (10-8, 3-1) used six pitchers in Game 1, and four in Game 2. Northeast needed all hands on deck in the back and forth flow of the second game.
Itawamba (10-8, 0-2) took a 5-4 lead in the top of the sixth. Northeast responded with a solo run and Jack Hurdle scored on a passed ball.
In the bottom of the seventh, singles by Heath Wood from Kossuth and Riley Alef from New Albany sandwiched an error, loading the bases, and Easton Hall drew a full-count walk for the winning run.
“We just didn’t make the plays,” Itawamba head coach Rick Collie said. “We left too many runners in scoring position all day.”
Itawamba left 11 runners in scoring position on the day.
Evan Hickman from Marshall Academy appeared in both games, earning the win in Game 2 for the Tigers, pitching to four batters in the seventh.
Northeast has a pair of non-division games Tuesday, then host Holmes Saturday. Itawamba is at Holmes Tuesday, then hosts Miss. Delta Saturday.
In Game 1 for the Tigers, a four-run fifth inning was the key offensively. That frame included a two-run triple by Trent Turner from Brandon, who also scored on the play with a throw into the third-base dugout.
That fifth inning gave Northeast a 6-2 lead at that point. The Tigers also had RBI hits by Jordan Montgomery in the second, and by Luke Stanley from Lafayette in the sixth.
Ben Hellums from Ripley pitched three-plus innings to earn the win for the Tigers, with Hickman earning the save against three batter in the top of the seventh.
“Any time you get a sweep, it’s a feather in your cap,” Farris said. “Overall, I was pleased with our effort.”
Northeast has a pair of non-division games Tuesday, then hosts Holmes Saturday. Itawamba is at Holmes Tuesday, then hosts Mississippi Delta on Saturday.