BY JAMES BEASLEY
The Copiah Academy baseball team got off to a great start under first-year coach Scooter Prince as they whipped the ACCS Rebels 8-2 in the Colonels’ season opener last Monday at Gallman.
Junior righthander Scotty Reese, 1-0, went 5 1/3 innings, allowed no earned runs, and struck out 12 to lead CA. Ben Boone came on in the 6th inning and blanked ACCS the rest of the way while striking out three.
Offensively, Hunter Renfroe was the star with a pair of solo home runs and 3 RBI’s. Bryce Guess also had two hits and two RBI’s for the winners. Ben Boone singled and stole home in the third inning, while Phillip Douglas contributed an RBI-single. In addition, Reese and Matthew Wright both doubled.
On Tuesday, Copiah traveled to McComb, where they took it on the chin from the AAA Parklane Pioneers 16-4. Boone scored in the top of the 1st for CA as he walked and eventually raced home when Renfroe grounded into a fielder’s choice.
The Colonels scored another run in the 4th when Guess singled with two outs, stole second, and raced home on Michael Williams’ RBI-single. CA got its final two runs in the 5th when Dustin Merchant walked, Boone singled, and Renroe drove both of them home with a 2-run double. Boone, 0-1, was the losing pitcher.
Copiah lost to AAA powerhouse Hillcrest Christian 15-0 on Thursday as they managed only 3 hits off Cougar pitching: two-out singles by Guess and Williams in the 4th inning, and a leadoff double by Renfroe in the top of the 6th. Matthew Wright, 0-1, absorbed the loss even though he was a victim of shoddy defense as the Colonels committed a total of 10 errors.
Saturday’s beautiful weather brought out Copiah’s best as the Colonels swept a doubleheader from the Centreville Tigers 11-5 and 8-2 in Gallman. In the opener, Reese, 2-0, went 6 1/3 innings, allowing 5 runs on 4 hits, while striking out 6 and walking 4. CA scored a total of 19 runs on 28 hits in the twinbill, committing only 5 errors and smacking 4 home runs.
In the first game, Boone was 3 for 5 with a pair of homers. Renfroe went 2 for 5 with a home run, while Reese helped his own cause by going 4 for 4. Guess was 2 for 4 with a double, while Douglas also doubled. Wright had a pair of singles for the winners, while Merchant, and Lee Brown each contributed one.
CA continued the onslaught in the nightcap by whipping the Tigers 8-2. Boone evened his record at 1-1 by going 5 2/3 innings, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits and striking out 7. Wright relieved him in the 6th and went the rest of the way, allowing no runs on no hits.
Offensively, Renfroe continued his torrid pace by going 3 for 4 with a double. Guess also was 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles. The only other Colonel with multiple hits was Reese, who was 2 for 3 with a home run. Additional Copiah hits included singles by Boone, Williams, Douglas, and Brown.
“We had a great beginning to our season,” said Prince in summing up his team’s first week. “We have to win the games we’re supposed to win, while I look upon our games with Parklane and Hillcrest as a learning experience. If we play like we did Saturday against Centreville, we’ll be fine.”
Copiah is 3-2 after the first week of play. The Colonels travel to Tri-County this week and will play in a round-robin tournament at Amite School on Saturday.