FOXWORTH (WDAM) _ Sometimes, it’s not the hardest hit baseball that turns out to be the biggest hits.
Two bunt singles lit the fuse of a two-run rally that broke a scoreless deadlock and helped carry West Marion High School to a 5-1 victory Thursday night over Wesson High School in the opening game of the Class 3A South State semifinals.
The second game of the best-of-three series is set for 7 p.m. Friday in Wesson.
“Thought we did a good job of getting bunts down, and putting the pressure on them defensively,” West Marion coach Derrick Jerkins said. “That was really the difference in the baseball game, putting a little pressure on them defensively.
“It just allows our offense to relax a little bit, and we come up with a key hit.
Wesson (19-12) committed five errors, with three errors contributing to four of the Trojans’ runs.
“We left a few balls up that got hit hard,” Wesson coach Seth Lofton said. “But if we make all the routine plays, it’s a little harder on them to score.”
And West Marion starting pitcher Shelby Terrell made it difficult for the Cobras to score.
Terrell (9-1) limited Wesson to three hits in 5 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out four and walking none. He was pulled after 48 pitches, meaning he would be available to pitch later in the series, if needed.
“Shelby pitched really well (Thursday),” Jerkins said.
As did Wesson starter Kenner Bizot (5-5), who allowed seven hits in six innings.
The Trojans (21-9) broke through in the third, when Logan Fortenberry and Josh Boone both bunted their way on board to open the inning.
Jayden Duncan lashed a starched single into left field that would have loaded the bases, but when the outfielder slipped and bobbled the baseball, Fortenberry came in to score the game’s first run and the other runners moved up a base.
Clay Blocker’s sacrifice fly scored Boone to make it 2-0.
Blocker opened the fifth inning with a double. Courtesy runner Tyler Aikens went to third base on a wild pitch and then scored on Brett Jenkins’ single to left field, where, again, the ball was misplayed, allowing Jenkins to reach second.
Brian Blakeney, a courtesy runner who ran for Blocker, stole third and scored on a double down the left-field line by Dalton Raynes.
West Marion added another run in the sixth inning. After loading the bases on two walks and an error, Blocker drove in his second run of the game with his second sacrifice fly of the game.
Duncan came in to pitch in place of Terrell, getting the final two outs of the sixth inning, but then ran into trouble in the seventh.
Will McInnis walked to open the inning, and two outs later, went to third base on Cade Lowery’s second double of the game.
Lane Thompson then ripped a full-count pitch off Duncan, and the ball bounded away for an infield single that scored McInnis and sent Lowery to third.
Raynes came in from third base to pitch, swapping positions with Duncan, and got Aaron Mooney for the final out on a sharply-hit, one-hopper to third.
Thompson, Mooney and Slay Acy each had a single for the Cobras and Lowery his two doubles.
Duncan hit two singles, while Blocker and Raynes each hit a double. Fortenberry, Boone and Jenkins had a single apiece.