By Rocky Higginbotham
Webster Progress Times
One thing is certain about the East Webster baseball team thus far into a young 2017 season: The Wolverines appear intent on keeping their fans on the edge of their seats.
East Webster won three of the four contests it played last week – all of them decided by two runs or less.
The Wolverines opened the week with a 6-5 victory at South Pontotoc on Monday, then they edged Mooreville 2-1 at Amory on Tuesday. Saturday, East Webster dropped a 2-1 decision to Nanih Waiya in its first loss of the year in a contest played in Ackerman, then the Wolverines rebounded to knock off host Choctaw County, 4-2.
A contest which was scheduled with Starkville last Friday was postponed until April 11.
The Wolverines, who entered this week with a 5-1 record, were slated to go to Bruce Tuesday and host Tupelo on Thursday.
Next week, East Webster is scheduled to take a spring break trip to Gulf Shores, Ala., for four games in three days (Monday through Wednesday, March 13-15) before returning home to host West Point on Friday, March 17.
Last Monday at South Pontotoc, Cade Shurden delivered a go-ahead, two-run homer in the top of the seventh inning to lift the Wolverines to victory. Shurden finished with two hits and four RBIs, while Miller Hancock was 3-for-4 with a pair of stolen bases and two runs scored.
J.T. Slay, who singled prior to Shurden’s homer in the seventh, was 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI while Jon Austin Roberts was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a couple of stolen bases. Luke Wilson added a single and a run.
Dalton Brown threw 2.1 innings of one-hit relief to earn the win, striking out three and allowing no runs. Carson Gilliland started for the Wolverines, who trailed 3-2 after three innings and 4-3 after five.
Tuesday, East Webster continued the excitement when Wilson’s two-out, bases-loaded single in the bottom of the fifth provided a walk-off win over Mooreville.
The teams were tied 1-1 when Sloan Hillhouse started the East Webster rally with a one-out single. Hancock followed with a single, then Slay reached on a fielder’s choice. A walk to Shurden loaded them up before Wilson’s game-winning hit.
Hancock was 2-for-2 with a run and two stolen bases while Wilson, Slay and Hillhouse all had hits.
Walker Johnson tossed one inning of relief to earn the win, combining with starter Cody Boland to limit Mooreville to five hits and one run.
On Saturday, East Webster lost for the first time this season when Nanih Waiya rallied with two runs in the fifth inning to beat the Wolverines 2-1 at Choctaw County.
The Wolverines had six hits, including one each from Hancock, Roberts, Wilson, Hillhouse, Art Thompson and Chandler Strickland. Hancock scored and Roberts had his team’s only RBI.
Cody Boland was the losing pitcher, tossing four innings and giving up just one earned run. Johnson threw three innings and struck out five.
In their second game Saturday, East Webster broke a 2-2 tie with two runs in the sixth and held on to beat Choctaw County.
Thompson was 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI and Slay had a double for East Webster. Spencer Carden singled and scored twice, Wilson singled scored, Strickland singled and Darius Bryant drove in a pair.
Gilliland was the winning pitcher, throwing four innings. He and Brown combined to limit the Chargers to six hits and no earned runs while striking out nine.