Garrett Crochet retired the last 17 batters he faced to lead Ocean Springs to a 5-2 win over Region 7-6A foe D’Iberville in high school baseball Friday night.
The win keeps Ocean Springs (13-9, 6-2) in first place in Region 7-6A. The Greyhounds have two remaining region games — both against St. Martin — next week. The Warriors (10-11, 4-4) are still very much in the hunt for a playoff spot with two games against George County next week.
“We are in a good place,” Ocean Springs coach Brian Rea said. “(The playoff spot) is the most important thing.”
In the second, behind a leadoff Hunter Wade double and an Ocean Gehrmann single that was lost by the Ocean Springs outfield in the night sky, D’Iberville picked up two runs. Wade scored from third after a throwing error in an attempt to stop Gehrmann from stealing second. Gehrmann advanced to second on a Michael Kozlowski groundout and scored on Jay DeShong’s grounder to second to give D’Iberville an early 2-1 lead.
With two outs in the second, and Gehrmann at third, Crochet hit Warriors batter Chris Harris to put runners on the corners. Harris, though, would be the last D’Iberville baserunner. The senior lefthander retired 17 batters in a row, seven by strikeout.
“They weren’t touching my curveball,” Crochet said. “I felt pretty confident getting the ball over for strikes.”
Rea noted Crochet struggled in the first and second innings when D’Iberville got three hits.
“I thought they had some good swings at him early,” Rea said. “But, in the second, he settled down and started getting his breaking ball in and started missing the barrel of the bat.”
“He has a good arm,” Warriors coach Cragin Gilbert said of Crochet. “I thought we had a good approach at the plate, but he made pitches when he needed to make pitches.”
While Crochet was keeping D’Iberville hitters off the base, D’Iberville starter Cameron Hill was making things hard for Ocean Springs hitters, allowing only a walk and single in the second, third, and fourth innings. But in the fifth inning, three infield errors and a single by Britt McKay tied the game and loaded the bases with one out.
Trey Brady came in to relieve Hill with the bases loaded and one out. Brady got the second out on a strikeout, but Chance Goley sent a drive into the right-center alley that fell just out of the reach of the Warriors outfielders to clear the bases and give Ocean Springs a 5-2 lead.
“That two-out double really changed the game,” Rea said. “In high school baseball if you put the ball in play, you have a chance (to reach on an error). You must take advantage of your opportunities.”
“We played well except for the fifth inning when we booted several balls around,” Gilbert said.
Rea was pleased with his team scoring four of their five runs with two outs. In the first, Greyhounds leadoff batter Jaydon Collins ripped the first pitch he saw down the first base line for a double. Two outs and a hit batter later, Collins was still standing on third. Malcolm Beaugez, though, picked up the Greyhounds’ order with a single to plate Collins.
“Scoring with two outs shows we’re playing to our last at-bat in innings,” Rea said.
Crochet finished with eight strikeouts and Austin Cates added an RBI for Ocean Springs. Trey Forsythe singled in the first for D’Iberville.