High School Sports

Contagious 'Canes: West Harrison rolls past Bay at MGM Park

BILOXI -- West Harrison scored nine runs in the bottom of the sixth inning Saturday night to beat Bay High 11-1 at MGM Park.

The Hurricanes (11-2) sent 14 batters to the plate in the sixth, taking advantage of five hits, five walks, a hit batter and an infield error to blow open a 2-1 game. While Kasey Donaldson's two-run double and Brandon Parker's two-run single provided the power for the inning, the game-ending run came across when leadoff man Tate Parker forced a bases-loaded walk with two outs.

"We are starting to swing the bats," said Hurricanes coach David Marsland. "As we've went through the season, the players have become more and more aggressive at the plate. Hitting is contagious."

With West Harrison's hitting coming around, things were starting to line up for the Hurricanes.

"Our pitching has been good and the players are battling hard," Marsland said, noting his team has a key district matchup against Pascagoula later this week.

Up until the sixth inning, the game featured a pitching duel between Hurricanes starter Hunter Simmons and Bay High's Cole Brady. Simmons, who pitched the first five innings to pick up the win, allowed just four hits, giving up a run on Tristan Hopgood's fourth-inning double, a sacrifice, and Cade Compretta's ground out to second.

Brady was just as impressive, scattering seven hits through the first five innings and giving up only one earned run. Parker's first-inning double after Donaldson reached on a long, two-base outfield error gave the Hurricanes the early 1-0 advantage. In the fourth, Parker tripled into the right-center gap to score Simmons, who singled with one out.

West Harrison has been battling injuries, but is slowly getting its players back, Marsland said.

"We've had a few injuries, but we should be close to 100 percent soon," he said. "We've played a lot of younger players and we have a couple of freshmen who have been playing like veterans."

Marsland said when the Hurricanes get back to full strength, the experience gained by the younger players should help the team's depth.

"We have a little bit of momentum going into district play," he said. "We want to keep that momentum going. When we get the veteran players back, we will see what happens."

Parker paced West Harrison with two hits and three RBIs from his leadoff position. Brady also had three RBIs coming off a pair of hits. Donaldson was 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs. Simmons added two hits for the Hurricanes.

Hopgood had a pair of doubles to lead Bay High.