BILOXI -- Colby White struck out three consecutive batters in the bottom of the fourth with the bases loaded as West Marion edged St. Patrick 1-0 in Region 8-3A baseball action Tuesday.
The win gives the Trojans (6-5, 5-2) second in the district. St. Patrick (11-4, 4-3) falls to third behind district leader Seminary (13-3, 5-1).
With West Marion up by just one and no outs, St. Patrick loaded the bases against White on two errors and a walk.
"I told myself earlier this year that I could let things happen," White said, "or I could go out and do it. I realized I could keep them from scoring."
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White would strand all three Irish runners on base, striking out the next three batters to preserve the 1-0 lead.
"That was the difference in the game," said St. Patrick coach Eddie Burger. "Any time you get the bases loaded and no outs, you have a good feeling about what is going to happen. If we can make contact anywhere away from the pitcher, we are probably going to score. If we execute in the fourth inning, that changes everything."
"That inning came down to pure heart and determination," said West Marion coach Derrick Jerkins.
On March 8, White pitched a six-inning shutout against the Irish to beat St. Patrick 10-0, giving him 13 shutout innings against St. Patrick this year. Against the rest of the Trojans schedule, White has a 2.78 ERA in 22 and two-thirds innings.
White got the first two batters out in every inning except the fourth and fifth innings. In the fifth, he walked the leadoff batter, Brennan Gioe, before getting three consecutive outs to end the inning and stranding Goie at second. White retired the last nine Irish batters and 12 of the last 13 hitters he faced.
Burger said White kept his team off balance all night long with his curve ball.
"He did an outstanding job against us tonight and against us the last time. He did a good job of executing his pitches. He did what he had to do against us."
Except for the first inning, when he allowed three hits, St. Patrick pitcher Peter Holland matched White shutout frame for shutout frame. After the first inning, when West Marion scored their only run, Holland allowed only three more Trojan baserunners: two walks and an infield single to short.
"He threw an outstanding game," Burger said of Holland. "He gave us every chance to win the baseball game."
"It was two great pitchers tonight," agreed Jerkins. "Both guys were dominate on the mound."
While Holland quickly settled down, West Marion hit the ball hard in the first inning. Cyrus Thompson and Clay Blocker led the game off with solid singles. After a strikeout, Jacob Boone laced a single into left scoring Thompson. However, Josh Miller, running for Blocker, who is the Trojans catcher, was thrown out at the plate by leftfielder Josh Wood.
"He is a great pitcher," Boone said of Holland, adding that he thought the Trojans might get more chances to get runners on base.
Boone said the Trojans' bats have been silent for most of the year, with West Marion coming into the game with a team batting average of .216. "Hopefully, this gives us a lot of momentum going into the playoffs," he said. "Hopefully we can get hot and stay hot."
White allowed just two St. Patrick hits, struck out eight and walked three batters in picking up the win. Thompson was 2-for-3 to lead the Trojans at the plate.
Holland pitched a four-hitter in taking the hard-luck loss. He struck out seven and walked two, allowing just six baserunners on the night. Spencer Sliman and Trace Palazzo singled for the Irish.