Tigers rally late to top Georgiana

Published 1:56 pm Friday, April 19, 2013

A four-run sixth inning sparked Greenville High School to a 10-7 win over Georgiana School Wednesday at Beeland Park in Greenville.

The win avenged an 8-6 loss on March 16.

Early on it looked as if the teams might be heading for a repeat performance of the earlier showdown.

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The Panthers staked claim to a 6-3 lead by plating three runs in the top of the third inning and knocked Greenville starter Jaquan Lewis from the game in the process.

Trailing by three, Greenville turned to right-hander Ozell Carter. It’s a move that may have proved to be the turning point of the game.

“He throws a little harder,” Georgiana head coach David Watts said. “We had some younger guys in the lineup, and they have problems with the velocity because of their physical maturity level.”

Georgiana scored just one run after Carter took the mound. The Greenville senior tossed 4.1 innings, allowing three hits, an unearned run and struck out four to earn the win.

In the bottom of the third, Greenville began chipping away at Georgiana’s lead. Lewis and Devonta Posey opened the inning by drawing walks. After a bunt single by Devin Middleton moved both runners into scoring position, Carter and Trevor Langford each drove in a run by drawing walks of their own. Georgiana led 6-5.

Georgiana tacked on its final run in the top of the fourth inning when Travales Smith singled, stole second base and then scored on a throwing error.

“Travales Smith has improved as much as any kid I have ever coached,” Watts said. “I thought he played a great game (against Greenville) in all phases of play.”

Greenville completed its comeback with four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Michael Smith led off the inning with a double. Lewis followed with a walk and both players later scored on an error. Posey also drew a walk and scored on a ground ball of the bat of Carter.

Greenville head coach Richard Kelly applauded his team for overcoming its early mistakes and battling back for the win.

“We’re a young team, and we make a lot of mistakes, but we also have a lot of potential,” he said. “I think if we can keep everyone in this, we have a chance to be real good down the road. This is a fun group to coach because there is so much potential there.”

Smith and Middleton led Greenville with two hits each. Both players also scored two runs, while Middleton drove in three runs. Carter had two RBIs.

Mike Dunn, Justin Oikle, Richard Boggan and Jackson Vickery each had two hits for Georgiana.  Oikle had two RBIs and Boggan drove in one run.