Starkville Academy handles North Sunflower Academy in baseball

Cameron McKee winds up to pitch for Starkville Academy.
Staff Writer

It didn't surprise Starkville Academy baseball coach Brooks Roberts one bit to see Ben Owens and Will Holley get home runs on Monday.

As seniors for Starkville Academy, that's what is expected from Owens and Holley.

The pair blasted one three-run shot each and the Vols defeated the North Sunflower Academy Rebels 26-1 in two innings.

"They've done this plenty of times," Brooks said of Owens and Holley delivering big hits. "We preach finding the barrel and both of them found one."

The long ball was instrumental in Starkville Academy scoring 22 runs in the first inning alone and the outcome of the game never was in doubt.

The Vols had already put nine runs up when Owens stepped to the plate and hit his home run. It was the first home run he had ever hit.

"It's been a while since I've seen the ball like I have lately, so it felt good to put a good swing on one," Owens said.

Seven batters later Holley picked out a pitch to his liking and hit a towering fly ball that got out of Volunteer Field.

When the first inning ended, Starkville Academy scored its 22 runs on 10 hits and benefitted from some North Sunflower wildness on the mound and miscues defensively.

It can be tough to be disciplined at the plate in that situation, but Roberts thought the Vols handled it nicely.

"The main thing I look for is guys staying locked in and putting good swings on pitches that are there to hit," Roberts said.

The Rebels scratched out a run in the second inning, but Starkville Academy ended the game after only two innings with four more runs scored in the second.

Holley had two singles to go along with his home run for the Vols, while Garrett Lewis had a single and a double, Kyle Faver added two singles, Owens hit his homer, and Taylor Arnold, Cameron McKee, Adler Morgan and Michael Winfield had one single each.

McKee pitched both innings to get the win for Starkville Academy.

Owens was just glad to be able to get on the field and get in some innings.

"We've been frustrated with all the games canceled, so it's good to come out during spring break, get some good baseball in and get better," Owens said.

The Vols were scheduled to play Indianola Academy late Monday night, but that result was not available at press time.

Owens blasted another three-run home run later Monday night as Starkville Academy rallied to defeat Indianola Academy 6-4 to head into Tuesday's bracket play with a 2-0 record.