High School Sports

Gulfport knocks off Madison Central

Gulfport pitcher Max Barnes
Gulfport pitcher Max Barnes Veto Roley/Special to the Sun Herald

Gulfport scored in the bottom of the fourth inning to beat Madison Central 1-0 on Saturday at MGM Park.

It was the final day of the week-long Battle at the Beach Tournament. Gulfport improved to 13-1.

“Hopefully, you can keep up the intensity and maintain this throughout the year,” Admirals coach Jamie McMahon said. “Beating the defending state champions is a good win for us.”

In the fourth, Ethan Saucier beat out a swinging bunt when Jaguars pitcher Noah Day could not pick up the ball. Dylan Ladner hit a grounder to third. An errant throw to first left both runners safe. One out later, both runners advanced on a double steal. Beckett White’s sacrifice fly produced the game’s only run.

The Jaguars (7-4) mounted serious scoring threats in the sixth and seventh innings.

Robbie Woody was hit by a pitch to lead off the sixth. One out later, Lawson Sockett drove a single into the right-center alley.

Woody tried to score the game-tying run but Gulfport centerfielder Dillon Brown cut the ball off. He quickly threw to second baseman Castor Lee, who relayed the throw home to catcher Blake Johnson, who tagged Woody well short of the plate.

“Brown did a very good job of cutting the ball off and getting it to second,” McMahon said. “Lee threw a strike to home.”

Sockett was stranded at second after pitcher Max Barnes got the third out on a grounder to short.

In the seventh, Easton Palmer was gifted with a double when the Admirals outfield lost his flyball in the seats. Barnes came back with a strikeout for the second out, but Palmer reached third on a wild pitch. The game ended on a flyball to center.

Barnes got the complete-game shutout, scattering five hits and two walks against three strikeouts.

“Barnes was the deal today,” McMahon said. “That was a great punch-out after the hit. You definitely don’t want the tying run at second, especially on a ball that should have been an out. But the way Barnes was pitching, I wasn’t as nervous.”