Pitching leads SHS baseball to summer league win over West Point

By: 
DANNY P. SMITH
Staff Writer

One J followed another to the mound on Tuesday night for the Starkville Yellowjackets to keep the West Point Green Wave off balance offensively.

Jack Perry, Judah Buckner and Justin Rook were the pitchers used by SHS and they tossed a combined three-hitter in a 4-1 victory over West Point in five innings.

Perry started and worked the first two innings for the Jackets, while Buckner got one inning in and Rook brought his side-arm delivery back for two shutout frames.

"After watching him the first couple of games, I think he's going to be a real solid piece for us next year," Starkville coach Ben Tillman said. "He's thrown strikes and gotten guys out. At the end of the day as a pitcher, that's all you need him to do.

"(Buckner) had a little bit of an arm injury at the end of the season. We're slowly letting him get back out there and get healthy. We had him on a tight pitch count (Tuesday night). He got close to it, so we felt best just to take him on out."

Buckner gave up a pair of hits in the third, but got out of a jam with a pair of strikeouts. Rook gave up one hit and struck out two in his two innings.

Perry did not give up a hit, but surrendered an unearned run in the second inning. He had three strikeouts.

"I decided to go back to mechanics, try to throw strikes and let the defense work," Perry said. "I came out and Judah came in. He's one of the hardest workers I've ever been around. He came in and did a good job."

The Jackets scored a pair of runs in the second inning to give the pitchers a lead, then added one run in the third and another in the fourth.

The only run for the Green Wave came in the second inning when they benefited from one of the five errors from SHS in the game.

Tillman said it was good to see a win even on a night when the Jackets didn't have their best outing.

"At the end of the day, if you work hard and find a way to win, that's what matters and I think we did," Tillman said. "Hopefully our weight room and everything is buying into that type of mentality moving forward."

Perry, Buckner, Coleman Kennedy and Kamden Upchurch had one single each for the offense.

SHS head coach Luke Adkiins said the errors need to be eliminated, but still likes what he sees.

"It was a sloppy game and we've got a lot of stuff to clean up, but as far as what I'm seeing and evaluating, we've got a ton of potential," Adkins said. "I'm looking forward to our fall and being able to really get in there to do a lot of player development."

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