STARKVILLE — Ben Thebaud, of the Starkville Academy Dizzy Dean baseball team, uses his speed and athletic ability to his advantage.
As a wide receiver and defensive back in football at Starkville Academy, Thebaud has been known to make something positive happen for the Volunteers.
It was his play on the baseball field that helped Starkville Academy come from behind and defeat Starkville High School 13-10 in a four-inning second game of a Dizzy Dean High School doubleheader Monday night. The Volunteers earned a sweep by also beating the Yellow Jackets 10-4 in the opener.
With Starkville Academy trailing 10-9 in the fourth inning of the second game,Thebaud tripleed to tie the game and then Herston Williamson delivered a pinch-hit single that gave the Volunteers an 11-10 lead.
Starkville Academy (3-2-1) scored two insurance runs, but it was Thebaud”s effort that provided the spark.
“(Thebaud”s) triple was big for us,” Starkville Academy coach Matthew Crosby said. “He was able to get to third and gave us a chance to win. He”s our guy to come up with a big hit in a pressure situation and we also expect him to do a lot defensively.”
Thebaud had a single and triple in the nightcap to go along with the single and double in the first game.
He brings his experience of playing football to baseball.
“It”s the athleticism I gain by working out,” Thebaud said. “It gives me more confidence to do more things.”
As far as being in the middle of the four-run fourth, Thebaud said the credit goes as much to his teammates. He pointed out that Kyle Henson reached on an error, was bunted to second base by Farley Fondren and he was able to score on Williamson”s RBI single.
Thebaud called Williamson”s hit over the shortstop”s head “clutch.”
The Volunteers took a 9-2 advantage in the third, but Starkville (0-4) scored eight runs in the third.
Even after getting the 10-9 lead, Starkville coach David Lane was disappointed the Yellow Jackets couldn”t score more runs after leaving two runners on base in the third. The Yellow Jackets left five on for the game.
Starkville only had two hits with one single each by Reggie Campbell and Jordan Allgood.
“We still left so many runners on base,” Lane said. “We still didn”t get the big hit. We”re still learning the game and all of these guys are young.”
Jim Beasley added a double to what Thebaud did at the plate for Starkville Academy, while Williamson, Ryan Mann, Steve Pickren and Landon Scrivner had one single each.
n Starkville Academy 10, Starkville 4: Starkville Academy used a four-run third inning to gain the advantage and momentum in the first game that only went six innings.
Starkville Academy scored one run in the first with another in the fourth and two in the fifth and sixth. Starkville got one run in each of the second, third, fifth and sixth innings.
The Yellow Jackets actually out-hit the Volunteers 10-9 with a double and single each by Devin Mitchell and Victor Johnson, one double by Harper Day, two singles by Max Bartlett and one single each by Samuel Bigham and Wesley Montgomery.
For Starkville Academy, Ian Tharp had a double and single, while Adam Crittenden had a pair of singles, Mann had a double and Will Fuller chipped in a single to go with what Thebaud did.