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Starkville High School senior Nick Brooks did a good job of following directions Saturday.
In the first game for the Yellowjackets against the Greenville Hornets, Brooks was at the plate in the third inning with teammate Max Bartlett as the runner at second base.
SHS head coach Danny Carlisle yelled out to Brooks from his third-base coaching box to get a hit.
On cue, Brooks lined the next pitch he saw up the middle to drive in Bartlett.
It turned out to be a common practice for the Jackets as they won the season-opener 19-3.
Starkville used 14 hits to give Carlisle a victory in the first game of his final season as coach. He announced his retirement prior to the season.
"We want to send him out the right way and it's my last year too," Brooks said. "I've had a lot of fun over these years and it's been a lot of fun playing with this team. I love my teammates and we're looking to get things done this year."
It was an early wake-up call for the Jackets as their first game started a little after 11 a.m.
Carlisle set a time of 9:27 a.m. for the players to be at the ballpark and they came early and ready to go to work.
"They went about it as a business," Carlisle said. "I've always got an odd time, but everybody was here early. The tarp needed pulling because we left it out in centerfield and they were out there. Usually a coach has to go out there, but they went on about it with a business-like approach and it carried over to the game. They went out and took care of business."
It didn't take long for Starkville to make a statement against Greenville with five runs scored in the first inning.
Brooks drove in Victor Johnson with a single, while Tanner Clanton also had an RBI single.
The Jackets added two runs in the second, five more in the third and their biggest inning was the fourth with seven runs.
Brooks had three singles for SHS, while Johnson added a home run and a double, Clanton and Jordan Allgood had a pair of singles each, and Bartlett, Daniel Murphee and Kyle Thrasher added one double each.
"We work hard at practice and it's a constant effort every day to get better," Brooks said. "We want to build every day. We have a lot of talent and we want to show people that we are capable of doing a lot of things. We're trying to piece it together play by play."
Brooks went the distance on the mound and hurled a three-hitter with eight strikeouts. He had no walks, but did hit a batter.
Carlisle was glad to see Brooks respond after having a rough outing in a practice game.
"He had 73 pitches through five (innings) where the other night he had 69 and didn't get out of the second," Carlisle said. "He did give up an 0-2 double down the line and hit a batter with two outs, but other than that he pitched an outstanding game."
Pugh was the starting pitcher for the Jackets in the second game of the day and he made sure there was run support early.
In the first inning, Pugh hit a two-run home run to get the SHS offense going.
The Jackets scored two runs in the first and two more in the sixth. Pugh drove in another run in the sixth with a triple.
Brooks completed an impressive day at the plate for Starkville with another RBI to give him six in the two games.
Pugh worked the complete game on the mound and only gave up two hits with seven strikeouts.
The Jackets take their 2-0 record to Columbus on Tuesday.View more articles in: