Quitman puts an end to Northeast win streak
By By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
April 8, 2001
Northeast Lauderdale and Quitman put their respective winning streaks on the line Saturday afternoon, knowing full well one would come to a halt after their Division 5-4A battle.
Little did the visiting Panthers know, however, that they'd have to battle through so much adversity to keep their streak alive.
Quitman, already mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, lost one of its top players to injury but scratched out a pair of runs in the top of the eighth inning for a 7-5 win over the Trojans.
The Panthers, now 14-7 overall and 5-5 in the division, finished on top in the 3 hour, 19 minute affair that was halted 34 minutes because of an injury to junior center fielder Lamarcus Anderson.
Anderson, who collided with teammate Chris Fagan in the outfield, was taken by ambulance to Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center and was still undergoing treatment late Saturday.
Northeast coach Chris Harper, like Rigby, said the injury delay had a slight effect on the game, but said the outcome boiled down to a couple of routine plays.
The Trojans found themselves fighting from behind for the first few innings after Quitman put up four runs in the top of the first.
The Panthers got a walk, a hit batsman, two errors and a run-scoring double from Anderson for a 4-0 edge.
Northeast answered when Phillip Garrett tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly, then the Trojans got another run in the bottom of the second. That's when Will Matlock's hot shot into left-center landed after Anderson's collision with Fagan and ended up being a run-scoring triple.
After Quitman made it 5-2, the Trojan bats finally came to life in the bottom of the fourth. J.R. Smith and Garrett each had run-scoring doubles, and Adam Leister's RBI single tied things at 5-5.
That's when the scoring stopped, however, with both teams stranding baserunners left and right the remainder of the contest.
Northeast left the bases jammed in the fifth and Quitman did the same in the seventh, but the Panthers finally got back on the board in the eighth.
Jamie Shirley who came off the bench for a pair of dazzling catches in center field led off the inning with a hit, and Lorenzo White followed with a bunt single.
Shirley scored on a fielder's choice, and Justin Doggett added an RBI single with two outs for the final run of the game.
Quitman outhit Northeast 11-9, with both teams stranding 11 men.
Anderson was 2-for-2 with a double and White, Doggett, Matthew Creighton and Jonathan Fuller all had two hits, as well.
Anthony McKenzie (3-0) got the win in relief of Doggett, throwing 41/3 scoreless innings and allowing just three hits.
Leister (1-2) was hit with the loss in relief of Garrett, who struck out seven and allowed only two earned runs in seven innings of work.
Garrett also was 2-for-5 with a double and triple to lead Northeast offensively, while Ryan Sweet was 2-for-3 with a double.
The Trojans are back in action Monday and Tuesday at Morton, then Forest.
Rocky Higginbotham is the sports editor of The Meridian Star. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.