Shrewsbury, Hudspeth Lift No. 4 Itawamba to Season Sweep
April 15, 2012By Kevin Maloney of NORTHWEST MISSISSIPPI COMMUNITY COLLEGE
SENATOBIA – Behind a multi-homer game from Cody Shrewsbury in the opener and a no-hitter for Ben Hudspeth in the finale, visiting and 4th-ranked Itawamba knocked off Northwest by 8-5 and 11-0 (5) scores Saturday evening to sweep the four-game season series. Game 1 Box / Game 2 Box
Itawamba improved to 29-7 overall and 15-3 in the north while Northwest fell to 18-20 overall and 9-7.
On the losing end of back-to-back home sweeps by way of East Mississippi and Itawamba, the Rangers have lost four-straight in league play for the first time since 1994.
In the opening game of the day that had the feel of a state championship atmosphere, both the Northwest and Itawamba dugouts were completely engaged in the action.
Northwest plated single runs in the first and second off an RBI-single from Austin Overall and Keaton Hankins' solo slam to left, taking a 2-0 lead through three innings.
Jeremy Massie retired the first nine Indians he faced on the mound, five by way of strikeouts, before walking his first batter to leadoff the fourth. Itawamba would then capitalize, using the first of two, two-run home runs by Shrewsbury and later getting an RBI-double from William Goss to briefly take a 3-2 lead.
Jeremy Carlisle's two-out, solo shot to right in the bottom half tied the game at 3-3 before the team's exchanged a pair of runs in the fifth and were tied for a third time at 5-5.
Garrett Blaylock (1-3) relieved Massie to start the sixth, striking out the first batter before giving up a one-out triple to pinch-hitter Jeremy Ferguson. Itawamba gambled the ensuing at-bat with Zach Randolph at the plate, with Ferguson stealing home for what was the game-winning run.
Itawamba added two more in the seventh off Jake Smithy's RBI-double, and he'd later come around to score on a passed ball to make the final, 8-5.
Dylan Earnest improved to 5-1 on the hill in 5 1/3 innings of work, scattering seven hits, five strikeouts and five runs (four earned). Dillon Mitchell would toss the final 1 2/3 to earn his second save of the season.
Itawamba would cap the doubleheader sweep behind the arm of Hudspeth (7-0) in the nightcap, with the freshman striking out two and needing just 62 pitches in the 11-0 run-rule win.
Cody Reed (6-2) lasted just three innings in the loss, surrendering seven runs off eight hits while striking out four. Bill Higdon and Chris Casto finished in relief to close out the game.
The Indians' 2-through-6 hitters provided all the damage, combining to go 10-for-15 with two home runs, two doubles, 10 runs scored and nine RBIs.
Northwest will look to snap its four-game losing streak next Tuesday, April 17, traveling to rival Northeast (15-23, 10-7) for a 1 p.m. first pitch from Booneville. The Rangers defeated the Tigers 7-6 and 13-5 in Senatobia back on March 24. | Updated North Standings