Meridian Star

March 2, 2014

Lane impresses as West run-rules rival Southeast

By Michael Kerekes / The Meridian Star
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — Ryan Lane showed no signs of a torn ulnar collateral ligament he suffered last May.

The West Lauderdale right-handed starter had Tommy John surgery to fix the injury last year, and on Saturday afternoon, he was back to his old self with a dominating three innings for the Knights.

Lane got the win, giving up no runs and no hits, as West Lauderdale beat Southeast Lauderdale, 13-1, in five innings in the Lauderdale County Classic at Southeast.

“Just know all the hard work and pain I’ve been through has actually paid off — it’s a great feeling,” said Lane, who racked up four strikeouts. Lane added that he felt no pain or discomfort on the mound.

“I was locating the ball really well today, and my offspeed pitches were working really well.”

West head coach Jerry Boatner said he was impressed with Lane’s work Saturday.

“I thought we played awesome,” Boatner said. “We had great pitching, and I’m really excited about how Ryan Lane did. This was his first game back, and I think he’s going to be better than ever.”

Lane had plenty of run support, as the Tigers took an early 4-0 after one inning. Colton McKeithen got things started with an RBI double that sent home Blake Anderson and Daniel Hill. McKeithen then scored on an RBI groundout, and a single by Mason Wooldridge brought in Will Stokes.

West added three more runs in the top of the second off an RBI double by Anderson and a double by Lane that sent home two. In the top of the third, West made it 8-0 when Fred Franklion came home on a double by Hill.

The Knights made it 9-0 in the top of the fourth on a sacrifice fly that scored Stokes. The Tigers scored their only run in the bottom of the fourth when a single by Jake Miller sent in Nathan Ross.

But West added four more runs in the top of the fifth, two of which came off a home run by Anderson. RBI doubles by Chase Mason and Woolridge rounded out the Knights’ scoring. The game was called after five innings due to the 10-runs-after-five mercy rule.

Miller took the loss for the Tigers, yielding seven runs on six hits with two strikeouts in two innings pitched. Southeast head coach Shay Cooper said his team has a long way to go after Saturday’s loss.

“I’d like to see how many earned runs we had, but we gave up too many,” Cooper said. “Our defense has to get a lot better, and we have to get the lineup worked out.

“There ain’t but one thing to take away from a beating like that — we have a lot of work to do.”

Hill finished 3-for-4 with two doubles, and Anderson was 2-for-2 with a double and home run. McKeithen went 3-for-4 with a double, and Mason Woolridge was 3-for-3 with a double. Chase McClelland went 2-for-2. No one for the Tigers had more than one hit.

Southeast fell to 1-1 on the year, while West improved to 2-0. The win puts Boatner five wins away from No. 1,069, which would make him Mississippi’s all-time winningest coach, but Boatner said he isn’t thinking about the milestone too much at this time.

“It’s in my mind a little bit,” he said. “I’m not going to lie and say I don’t think about it, but once the game starts, my mind is on the game we’re playing at hand.”

Northeast 13, Clarkdale 3: The Trojans pounded out 10 hits and used a five-run fifth inning to beat county foe Clarkdale by 10.

Northeast used a steady dose of scoring to take the win, scoring two in the first and second to go up 4-0. After Clarkdale scored two in the third, Northeast responded with three in the third to go ahead 7-2.

Blake Sanders had a single and double and two RBIs for Northeast while Andrew White added two singles. Jacob Perry added a double and a triple.

For Clarkdale, Dawson Ivey had two singles and drove in a run while Josh Collum had a two-run double and Dylan Reeves added a double.