Errors, walks cost Saints

Published 11:03 pm Friday, March 13, 2009

Southside converted two walks, a hit batsman and an error into a four-run fifth inning in an 8-5 win on Friday.

“I’m proud of them guys,” said Southside coach LaMorris Jones. “They stayed in and fought through adversity. They didn’t quit.”

Jones was not exaggerating. Southside did not field a team last year, and this year’s team entered the year as a question mark. The Panthers trailed for most of the contest before Selma’s fifth-inning collapse.

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The Saints took a 3-0 lead on two passed balls and a sacrifice fly in the third inning. Wilbert McConico put the Panthers on the board by stealing third and scored after RaShawn Billingsley dropped a throw in the bottom of the inning.

McConico drove in Jamal Dudley and Mike Perryman to knot the score at 3-3 in the bottom of the fourth, but Selma fired right back.

Billingsley scored on a fielder’s choice, and Jacoby Adams touched the plate on a Ledarrius Neely single to put Selma back on top at 5-3 in the fifth.

That’s when the bottom fell out.

With two outs in the inning, Jamarious Strong plunked Kevin Smart and walked Mario Oliver to load the bases.

After Antarus Smith scored on a passed ball, a ground ball slipped between Antonio Hall’s legs to score Smart and Oliver. Dudley scored on another Selma error to make it a 7-5 game.

“We’re still growing, we’re still a developing team,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of young guys not afraid to be leaders.”

The Saints had one more chance in the top of the sixth, loading the bases with one down. But Perryman fanned Richard Ghant and Neely to end the threat.

“We had the bases loaded with the meat of the order coming up,” said Selma coach Warren Brown. “We just didn’t get it done.”