Freshmen lead Starkville past West Lowndes

March 24, 2009

Danny P Smith -


STARKVILLE -- It was a good night to get a one-hitter from two freshmen. 


Frustrated that his Yellow Jackets left 12 runners on base, Starkville High School baseball coach Danny Carlisle liked that Nick Brooks and Hayden Higginbotham combined to give up only one hit Tuesday night in a 5-1 victory against West Lowndes. 


"I was proud of them," Carlisle said. "They pitched their tails off." 


Brooks worked the first three innings, didn''t give up a hit, and struck out six. Higginbotham went the final four frames, allowing one hit and striking out seven. 


West Lowndes (8-3) left 10 on base, which disappointed coach Todd Stanley, who said a 13-day layoff likely was a factor in the sluggish outing. 


"We left runners on third base twice with less than two outs," Stanley said. "It''s been since March 10 since we''ve played, and I knew we were going to be a little rusty. It showed with the bats. We just didn''t swing the bats like we normally do." 


Starkville (9-2) scored a run in the first on a wild pitch. It added another in the second on an RBI single by Chuck Tillery. 


The Yellow Jackets didn''t score again until the fifth on an RBI single by Brooks. Bryan Koenig''s two-run single in the sixth closed the Yellow Jackets'' scoring. 


The Panthers took advantage of three errors in the seventh to score their only run. Clark McCollum''s single in the fifth off Higginbotham was his team''s only hit. 


Koenig had three singles, while Blake Dawkins added a double and a single, and Tillery and Daniel Forde each had two singles. 


With 10 hits, Carlisle hoped for a little more run production. 


"We can''t do that from here on out this week with Tupelo twice, Meridian, and New Hope," Carlisle said. "We''ve got to score whenever we get opportunities to score." 


Starkville plays host to Tupelo today in a key Class 5A, Division 2 game, while West Lowndes will take on East Oktibbeha.