Pitching powers Tigers to tourney title

Published 4:06 pm Tuesday, March 5, 2013

An unexpectedly frigid morning wasn’t enough to cool down McKenzie pitcher Roscoe Moorhead’s hot hand in the final game of the Butler County Tournament.

A perfect first four innings from Moorhead led to the Tigers pouncing on the Georgiana Panthers early for an eight-run lead, clinching the Butler County round-robin tournament.

Solid defensive play backed by excellent pitching had been par for the course for much of the weekend, with McKenzie coming out on top against Greenville, the team’s first opponent, by a margin of 11-6.

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McKenzie head baseball coach Tony Norris said that it was these two things working in conjunction that gave his team the victory during the weekend faceoff.

“When you make [the opposing team] put the ball in play or throw strikes, that allows the defense to be in the game more as opposed to walking guys, which lulls them to sleep,” Norris said.

But McKenzie’s early lead almost worked in Georgiana’s favor, as the Tigers became noticeably more lax in their defensive efforts as the game progressed. A nine-run lead was inevitably cut to four by the seventh inning of play before the Tigers woke up and regrouped.

But it was a case of too little, too late for Georgiana as McKenzie finished strong with a 12-7 win.

“We got up big on them, and then I felt like we kind of relaxed a little bit,” Norris said. “I give Georgiana credit for clawing back into the game and making it close.”