Cumberland – East Webster Coach Wes Johnson was thinking Water Valley would make a good opponent before district play began. He was right, as Water Valley was also thinking tune up time before district begins. They stayed with East Webster toe to toe until the final inning, eventually losing 2-1.
Asked prior to the game what Coach Johnson would like to accomplish with this pre district matchup he replied “Well obviously first a win, and then I would really like to get some of my pitchers a little time on the mound tonight before our district opener with Eupora Friday.” “You know I have several guys who can pitch and to get them game time experience is crucial.” “You know I will probably start Cody Silver, and then try and come in with Tyler Doss, Cody Mckee could also see action tonight. I will try and give them a couple of innings each.” Not so fast coach.
Water Valley Blue Devils coach Kary Bridges downplayed his team’s ability “We’re young, rebuilding.” I play a lot of sophomores but they got to start somewhere” We’re 0 and 3 we got rained out at Petal this weekend so we need to get out here and knock a little rust off, our district starts this week with Aberdeen ”
Small ball and excellent pitching made this one to close for comfort for Coach Johnson to be able to rotate in some pitching. That is until East Webster with a 2-1 lead in the top of the seventh started feeling the heat from Water Valley. With one out and a runner on third, Johnson decided to pull starting pitcher Cody Silver, who had pitched a pretty good hand. Connor came in and struck out Water Valley junior short stop Cole Camp and then got senior second baseman Austin Hodge to hit him a ground out to give East Webster the win.
Johnson when asked about his original plans to substitute some pitching “Wow what a game, I mean Silver was fantastic.” “ He pitched almost perfect ball for 75 pitches in over 6 innings.” “Everybody bunted well including them, we just got one more than they did”
Silver pitched 6 1/3 innings with nine strikeouts, three hits and allowed one unearned run.
The Wolverines got just enough offense. One run was made in the bottom of the forth by Dillon Henley. Henley scored when Burton used the squeeze bunt to hit to where the Water Valley pitcher Taylor King could only get the out at first and let Henley score.
Water Valley tied it up and got its only run in the top of the sixth inning by King who scored from third after tagging up on a long ball to center field.
The Wolverines returned the favor in the bottom of the sixth. Codie McKee reached when the Water Valley Short Stop made an error. Codie danced around the bases on a sacrifice bunt by senior third baseman Dillon Henley. Mckee then scored the final run on a pass ball by the Blue Devils.
It was a tough loss for Water Valley coach Bridges”We really needed this one, but my kids have always played hard and they will take this and learn from it and get better.”
The JV game also went East Webster’s way 5-2.
Water Valley fell to (0-4) on the campaign, the diamond wolverines improved to (4-2).