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Heritage Academy baseball beats Starkville Academy


David Miller



STARKVILLE -- Camp Pittman pitched a complete game Tuesday to lead the Heritage Academy baseball team to an 11-1 victory against Starkville Academy.  


Pittman, working on mainly his fastball, gave up one run on six hits in six innings. He struck out two and walked one.  


Pittman got double plays in each of the first two innings and entered the third with a 4-0 advantage.  


Pittman didn''t face more than four batters in an inning, and Heritage Academy (15-2, 6-1 Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA North Division 2) broke the game open with six runs in the top of the sixth.  


"I maybe threw two changeups and 10 curveballs total," Pittman said. "I didn''t really have to. Garrett (Hall), the catcher, was doing a good job of calling pitches and where to go with it. It was one of those days when I was hitting my spots. When you do that, you just need a fastball to rely on." 


The Patriots can seal a tiebreaker advantage against the Volunteers (7-8, 3-4) in a doubleheader Thursday in Columbus.  


Heritage Academy scored three runs in the first thanks to RBIs from MJ Hamrick and Clark Atkins. Tyler Farnham added a solo home run in the top of the second and capped a two-inning stretch in which the Patriots sent 14 batters to the plate.  


Heritage Academy coach Bruce Branch was happy to earn the run-rule victory but disappointed not to move more runners in the first two innings.  


"I felt like both teams coming out were sluggish," Branch said. "We felt like we were in slow motion, but what do you expect on a day like this (overcast and drizzling). It''s not good conditions all the way around, so we''re gonna be sloppy.  


"We were able to capitalize on some of the errors they made early, which allowed us to get on the board early. I still feel like we left too many guys on base. I feel like one big hit really could have busted the game open early." 


The loss produced an uncharacteristically sluggish day at the plate and a performance to forget in the field for Starkville Academy coach Neal Henry. 


The Volunteers committed seven errors, five of which led to runs. Starkville Academy had two errors in the first. They had two more and a passed ball that led to runs in the sixth. 


"I always think before games we''ll be there mentally and be ready to play," Henry said. "Today, we just didn''t show up for some reason or another. I take full responsibility for them not showing up. I did a poor job of that tonight, but take your hat off to Heritage. Pittman on the mound, he pitched with a lead and pitched great. They''ve got a pretty solid ballclub over there.  


"When it comes down to it, no excuse is good enough for why we can''t make plays." 


Starkville Academy starting pitcher Hunter Bolin gave up four runs on four hits in 3 2/3 innings. Bolin struck out one and walked or hit seven. 


Ryan Mann went 2-for-3 to lead Starkville Academy.  


James Clark went 1-for-2 with two RBIs, and Parker Dunaway was 2-of-4 for Heritage Academy. 



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