Special to the Journal
PONTOTOC – The division-leading Pontotoc Warriors were not getting the hits they felt they should be getting in the early innings Tuesday.
But some late inning heroics by Delvin Zinn, Will Howard, and Jacob White turned base runners into runs and the Warriors pulled out a 5-4 victory over Amory.
The Warriors scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to maintain its Division 1-4A top spot.
“We’d had base runners early, but couldn’t get the hit,” Pontotoc head coach Casey James said. “The boys never gave up.”
In the midst of a rebuilding season, the Panthers (6-17, 3-4) were trying to insert themselves in the playoff hunt early. Amory plated four runs in the fourth inning, which included a bases loaded walk to Austin Grubbs and an RBI hit by Drake Wallace for a 4-0 lead.
“To sum up the season, we do not do anything easy,” Amory head coach Chad Williams said.
Pontotoc (13-7, 6-1) bats became effective in the fifth inning, with Zinn producing a two-run hit to cut the Amory lead in half. Amory starting pitcher Cole Robinson basically held the Warriors in check for six innings, striking out 11 over that span.
But in the bottom of the seventh, Pontotoc loaded the bases with one out, and Howard delivered a two-run hit to tie the score. Then with the bases loaded again, Whte delivered the game-winner past a diving third baseman.
That made a winner of Hayden Kennedy for Pontotoc, who relieved Ryan Watts in the fifth inning.
“I thought Hayden Kennedy stepped in a pressure spot for us,” James said.
Both teams continue division play Thursday at Amory.