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MA baseball tops Southern

LINDEN – Chris Whitaker pitched all seven innings to lead Marengo Academy (7-3) to an 8-3 win over Southern Academy Tuesday in a rematch of the teams who met in the finals of the 2008 Class AA state tournament.

“It’s huge,” Marengo head coach Jonathan Lindsey said of the momentum boost his team received from the win. “Every time we’ve played Southern since I’ve been here, we’ve lost to them the first game. But we really stepped up this game.”

Lindsey’s team, which went 1-3 against Georgia teams at Glenwood’s Border Wars Tournament over the weekend before dropping Morgan Academy Monday night, fell behind 3-0 in the second inning Tuesday when Southern played small ball and forced the Longhorn defense to respond.

“We didn’t make the plays defensively,” Lindsey said. “They started bunting and we just didn’t make the plays. They strung together a couple bunts and we had a couple unfortunate hops.”

Marengo answered with one run in the home half of the second before adding another in the fourth and ultimately erupting for a six-run sixth inning to ice the game.

“We’ve still just got to hit the ball better,” Lindsey said of his team. “We ran up against some very good teams in Georgia. We didn’t hit as well as we can. We’re still finding the right fit in our lineup.”

Kyle Schroeder put together a 2-for-2 day while drawing a walk, picking up one RBI and scoring two runs. Clayton Crocker went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored. Wood Collins went 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Jesse Morgan walked and scored a run. Weldon Fultz picked up an RBI. Whitaker scored a run. Beau Digmon walked twice, scored one run and picked up an RBI in the game.

Whitaker struck out four and scattered six hits over his seven innings of work.

“For the most part, he gets stronger as the game goes on,” Lindsey said of Whitaker. “He didn’t get the defense that he needed early. But he came back.”

The Longhorns are scheduled to host Lowndes Academy Thursday at 3:30 p.m.

“I’m not satisfied with where we are because we have a lot of improving to do,” Lindsey said, “hitting and defensively.”