Jackson County

Control problems haunt East Central in playoff loss to Purvis

 East Central shortstop Reis Trager charges a ground ball against Vancleave, Friday, Apr. 8, 2016.
TIM ISBELL/SUN HERALD East Central shortstop Reis Trager charges a ground ball against Vancleave, Friday, Apr. 8, 2016.

HURLEY - Purvis took advantage of East Central's control problems to push across four runs in the seventh, beating the Hornets 11-6 and taking the best of three series 2-1 in the Class 5A baseball playoffs Monday.

All three games were won by the visiting team with Purvis (13-10) taking the opener Friday 2-1 before returning home Saturday and dropping the second game 11-0.

Leading 7-6 going into the final inning, the Tornadoes started their final at bat with back-to-back one-out singles from Ian Vowell - Purvis's fourth infield single of the game - and Brady Farlow.

Three East Central pitchers struggled to end the inning, walking five of the next six Tornado batters, three with the bases loaded, and issuing a bases-loaded balk.

"We walked a bunch (of batters) in the seventh," East Central coach Bo Long said. "We struggled to find the (strike) zone."

"I thought we had the deeper pitching tonight," said Purvis coach Tony Farlow, who said he thought he had five pitchers left. "Nothing spectacular, but they all throw strikes."

Vowell got the start and went two batters into the fourth inning for Purvis before giving way to Casey Burge. Vowell and Burge held East Central hitless through four innings while Purvis built a 5-0 lead.

East Central found their offense in the bottom of the fifth, though. Jacob Vick ripped a two-run single followed by Will Garriga's two-run double as the Hornets tied the game with five runs before Keyshawn Bolar struck out two to end the inning.

"He's been pitching junior varsity all year," Farlow said. "But he throws strikes and has varsity stuff."

Bolar, who pitched into the seventh to get the win, struck out four Hornets.

Purvis took advantage of a two-base outfield error in the sixth and a Bolar double to retake the lead with two runs. Blaine Vowell singled in the game-winning RBI and Myles Kendrick's fly to center brought home an important insurance run, making the score 7-5.

Purvis repaid the error in the bottom of the sixth when an outfield error left Reis Trager on third and Vick on second. Although Trager scored on a wild pitch, Bolar got two strikeouts to end the Hornets threat.

In the seventh, Colin Danley singled and Louis Morgan walked to chase Bolar. Kendrick took the mound for Purvis and ended any threat of an East Central come back with a fly to right and a double play.

'We have not hit consistently for the last three weeks, " Long said.

Purvis opened the scoring with Bolar, who started the inning with a walk, scoring on Trenton Flatt's grounder to second. Logan Lambeth followed with an infield single to short, giving Purvis a 2-0 lead.

The Tornadoes added three runs in the fifth behind a wild pitch, throwing error, and Ian Vowell's first infield single.

Purvis had 25 base runners, 12 off hits, eight off walks, three hit batters, and two reached on errors. Kendrick and Ian Vowell led the way with two hits and an RBI each.

East Central, led by leadoff hitter Trager, who walked twice and was hit by a pitch, had 15 base runners, but only four hits.