By Will Knight
Special to The Dispatch
WEST POINT — With a drenched diamond and gloomy atmosphere, the West Point Green Wave overcame the elements to knock off Caledonia 6-3 in prep baseball action Tuesday night.
The Green Wave (1-2) rocked the baseball for the first three innings and scored five runs. Four of those five runs came off the bats of starting pitcher Freddie Reed and eventual closer Leroy Calvert – both with two RBIs apiece.
“I tell my guys all the time that hitting is contagious,” said West Point head coach Buddy Wyers. “It is part of the game of baseball. Particularly in the third inning we had four or five hits in a row.”
On the mound, Reed controlled the Caledonia (2-1) lineup. Reed threw five innings of no-hit baseball with seven strikeouts. Aiding his own cause, Reed also cleaned up nicely on the offensive side with three hits to go along with his two RBIs.
Wyers felt like Reed really delivered for his team Tuesday night.
“He had a no-hitter going into the fifth,” Wyers said. “But his pitch count was getting up there and he was tired, so we pulled him out and put freshman Rico Lowe in.”
For Lowe, it was his first appearance in high school varsity action.
Lowe came into the game with a five-run lead and got two quick outs, before the Feds made a rally.
Following two walks issued by Lowe in the sixth inning, Caledonia scored three runs off of errors by the shortstop, pitcher and right fielder, and finished off the inning with a good drive up the middle.
“We should have gotten out (of the sixth inning) with no runs,” Wyers said. “If we make a routine fly ball catch or a routine ground ball play, (Caledonia) doesn’t score a run even though our pitcher walked the first two guys of the inning. We prolonged that inning more so than (Caledonia) prolonged it for themselves.”
Lowe settled down enough to get the final out to put a cap on the Caledonia comeback.
“My teammates told me to calm down and let it happen,” said Lowe in response to the tough sixth inning. “So I threw the ball and let it happen and my defense eventually had my back.”
The Green Wave brought around one run in the bottom of the sixth frame with a drive to left off of a fresh Caledonia thrower.
Lowe started off strong for the seventh, picking up two strikeouts. But after a couple of Caledonia hits and a walk, the bases were juiced and it appeared that bad luck would strike again.
Wyers decided to pull Lowe and put in one of his older guys, Calvert, to insure the win. Calvert struck out his single batter and picked up the save for the Green Wave. Wyers liked Lowe’s work on the mound and looks forward to using him again in future games.
“He’s got a lot of potential,” Wyers said. “He throws from the left side and has a lot of movement. He’s got a good changeup. It’s a matter of getting him some game experience. He can come in for an inning or two as a freshman with that left side movement.”
n In other prep baseball action Tuesday night, the New Hope Trojans improved to 3-0 with a 7-1 win over Houston in first-round play at the Amory Tournament.
Starkville Academy scored four runs in its final at-bat but it was not enough as the Volunteers (5-1) suffered their first defeat, 10-5 at Madison-Ridgeland Academy.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.
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