Knights coast to win over Clarkdale
By By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
April 14, 2001
Veteran West Lauderdale coach Jerry Boatner said ace Todd Doolittle didn't necessarily have his best stuff working against cross-county rival Clarkdale Friday night.
The Bulldogs are likely thankful.
Doolittle gave up an infield hit and a run in the first inning, then didn't allow another baserunner past first as the host Knights coasted to an 11-1 victory.
Third-ranked West Lauderdale is now 27-2 this season, while Doolittle is a perfect 9-0. The senior right-hander struck out nine in the five-inning, rout-shortened game.
Clarkdale dropped to 22-6 overall.
The Bulldogs scored their only run in the top of the first, when Chris Moffett's RBI single in the hole at shortstop plated Matt Minchew who had walked. But Clarkdale's 1-0 lead was short-lived.
West Lauderdale got a three-run homer from Trent Posey in the bottom of the first inning, and the Knights were never really threatened again.
A second three-run homer this one off the bat of Southern Miss signee Brad McKee pushed West Lauderdale ahead 6-1 after three innings.
The Knights got a single run in the bottom of the fourth for a 7-1 lead, then ended the game in the bottom of the fifth.
McKee started that fifth-inning rally with a single, then Bo Davis followed with a towering double that went off the center-field wall.
After a couple of Clarkdale errors made it a 10-1 game, West's Miles Joyner was hit by a pitch, and teammate Van Wilson followed with a scorching RBI double into the left-center field gap that ended the contest by the 10-run rule.
Wilson was 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored, while McKee was 2-for-3 with his three-run homer and a pair of runs, as well.
Doolittle helped his own cause with a pair of hits and two runs scored at the plate and Richie McAlister singled and scored twice. Davis, Ryan Clay and Josh Snider rounded out West Lauderdale's 11-hit attack, and the Knights took advantage of four errors by the visiting Bulldogs.
Clarkdale starter Jared Weir was charged with the loss on the mound for the Bulldogs.
Both teams will begin first-round playoff action Thursday, but before that, both have non-division contests today.
Clarkdale is scheduled to host Quitman at 3 p.m., and the Panthers were originally scheduled to visit West Lauderdale tonight at 6.
Boatner says that contest has been canceled, but the Knights are still scheduled to entertain Class 5A powerhouse Hattiesburg today at 1 p.m.
The Tigers, who sport eight Division I recruits, are still likely steaming from an earlier loss to West Lauderdale this season.
Rocky Higginbotham is sports editor of The Meridian Star. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.