DECATUR — Tanner Elders was the standout on the mound and at the plate for Newton County High School as the Cougars clinched the MHSAA Region 5-4A crown with a 5-1 win against Forrest County AHS in Thursday night baseball action.
Elders was the winning pitcher, giving up one unearned run in 5 2/3 innings while striking out four. He issued two walks and surrendered just three hits.
At the plate, Elders was the Cougars' only multiple hitter, finishing 2-for-3 with a run scored. Albert McDougle and Peyton Cain both had two RBIs apiece, and Eli Harrison added an RBI.
Newton County head coach Wyatt Tullos said he was proud of his team accomplishing a district title, one of several goals the Cougars set before the year.
"We're really excited to have achieved it, and we want to keep pushing on," Tullos said. "We've always had great effort all year, but we struggled at times putting it all together — pitching, defense and timely hitting. This past week, though, we did a good job of putting it all together.
"I'm proud of this group. They're a no-drama team. They play hard, and they don't run their mouths or chirp. They just play baseball. They're a real pleasure to be around."
The Cougars (14-9, 7-2) earned a first-round bye in the playoffs with the win. They will play Kosciusko High School today.
WEST LAUDERDALE 4,
COLLINSVILLE — After allowing three runs in the top of the sixth, West Lauderdale High School rallied for four runs in the bottom half of the inning to remain undefeated with a 4-3 win against Houston High School Thursday.
The win put West one step closer to securing the MHSAA Region 4-4A crown. It will have to beat Houston on the road today to win the division.
Will Stokes got the win for the Knights, going all seven frames and giving up three earned runs on three hits. He walked four and fanned nine.
Daniel Hill tallied a double and scored a run for West. Blake Anderson, Fred Franklin and Stokes scored the other three runs for the Knights.
The Knights improved to 21-0 overall, 9-0 in the division.