By David Wheeler
MOOREVILLE - North Pontotoc Vikings coach Chad Anthony found his team at an insecure 3-2 in Division 1-3A entering this week, and just wanted them to just take it one game at a time.
The Vikings took a big one Monday night.
North Pontotoc handed the division-leading Mooreville Troopers their first loss in league play with a 6-5 victory.
"We were just trying to get a win because of how good this division is," Anthony said. "At 3-2, I told our guys not to look too far ahead.
"We've still got a chance."
The Vikings (11-3-1, 4-2) were already looking at a 3-0 deficit by the end of the first inning as Mooreville (11-7, 5-1) scored early.
And it was one swing that gave the Troopers the early momentum as Taylor Dickerson connected for a two-out, three-run home run in the bottom of the first inning.
Snyder clears the bases
But North Pontotoc did not panic, and in the top of the third, the Vikings got to Mooreville starter Ben Kingsley.
Without getting a hit off Kingsley, the Vikings scored once, and had the bases loaded with two outs as Myles Snyder came to the plate.
Snyder responded with a bases-clearing double that gave the Vikings a 4-3 lead.
That lead was bumped up to 6-3 in the top of the fifth with a two-run home run by Jeremy Ferguson.
But Mooreville responded with a solo blast by Kingsley in the bottom of the inning, part of a two-run frame that helped the Troopers pull within 6-5.
"In the division, it comes down to how we do against Booneville, and again against North Pontotoc," Mooreville coach Rex Berryman said. "I don't know where it's all going to fall, and I'm not sure if five wins will even get you fourth place in this division.
"Any time we got momentum tonight, we had base-running blunders."
But that turned out to be the last glimmer of hope for the Troopers. Snyder came in to hurl the last two innings for the Vikings, striking out the last five batter he faced.
"Our guys hit the ball hard all night," Anthony said. "We just kept pounding away, and out guys showed a lot of heart tonight."
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