March 15, 2014 7:21:44 PM
STARKVILLE -- Travis Garner loves the consistency of his pitching staff at Starkville High School.
Only a couple days after throwing over 50 pitches, sophomore right-hander Colbey Rivers tossed a seven-inning gem for another home victory for the Yellow Jackets. Starkville (8-2) won its third straight game in extra innings this week over Gordo, Ala., 2-1 in 10 innings.
"That joker just shoves it right in the strike zone and I have to say through 10 games, I'm really pleased with the effort we've gotten on the mound while we try to figure out how to score," Garner said. "Are any of my guys touching 90 miles per hour and signing Division 1 anytime soon? No. But they are can all battle."
Rivers was dominate by scattering six hits and pitching to contact by only recording one strikeout. He completed his seven-inning outing in less than 90 pitches.
"I really wanted to lead my team with this start," Rivers said. "Immediately after my relief outing this week, I got my running in and told the coaches I felt great to go seven innings."
Rivers said the mentality of this Yellow Jackets team revolves around expecting to win games in the last at-bat and SHS found another unique way to victory.
In the bottom of the 10th, Will Murphree scored on a wild pitch by Gordo's Collin Herring. Starkville swept a doubleheader earlier this week against Horn Lake with both wins coming in the final at-bat.
"We just get in these close games and extra innings and just all act like something good is eventually going to happen," Rivers said. "We don't get nervous. We think it's fun to play in games like that."
All six hits from the SHS lineup came from the top four spots with Murphree and Tanner Clanton both having multi-hit days. The defensive execution in difficult situations was efficient by both teams as both teams left a combined 24 runners on base. However, Garner mentioned how fortunate he was to get this victory after his team made six errors.
"We made a lot of mistakes early but these kids are fighters and I'm proud to coach a group like this that doesn't give up and makes plays when the chips are down," Garner said. "We get our offense figured out and we can be really dangerous later in the year. We can pitch it right now and that always gives you a chance."
Will Prewitt got the victory on the mound by pitching three scoreless innings and getting two key strikeouts with the bases loaded in the 10th inning.
Follow Matt Stevens on Twitter @matthewcstevens.
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