HED:IAHS ends Braves' streak
By Todd Vinyard
FULTON Just when Tishomingo County batters thought it was safe to face Itawamba Agricultural High School pitching, along came Ed Hebert.
Hebert (pronounced like former NFL quarterback Bobby Hebert) tossed a one-hitter as IAHS beat Tishomingo County 3-0 Tuesday night. The loss was Tishomingo County's first of the season. The Braves fell to 15-1 and 0-1 in Division 1-4A. IAHS now improves to 8-5 overall and 1-0 in the division.
IAHS coach Brian Long received a nice Christmas present this year when Hebert, a junior, transferred in from Dallas. Hebert took the spot of IAHS ace Jamie Rock, who graduated from last year's Division 1-4A championship team.
"Ed fills some gaps for us at shortstop and pitching," Long said. "He threw the ball great tonight. He was ahead of batters all night."
Hebert had 11 strikeouts as he locked up in a pitching duel with Tishomingo County's Ricky Lambert. Lambert, a Mississippi State baseball signee and last year's Daily Journal Player of the Year, had eight strikeouts in defeat while holding IAHS to five hits.
"Both pitchers did a great job," Tishomingo County coach Jerry Long said. "Hebert is a real competitor and a tough pitcher. Ricky pitched well, but it is hard to win when you don't score any runs."
Tishomingo County's Long said missed opportunities hurt the Braves.
"We played well, but we didn't take advantage of some opportunities and they did," Jerry Long said.
IAHS scratched out all the offense Hebert would need in the fifth inning. First, Hebert walked and was replaced by courtesy runner Jason Dodson. Then IAHS catcher Luke Carroll laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Dodson to second.
T.J. Roberts ripped a single up the middle which sent Dodson to third base. A Lambert wild pitch allowed Dodson to score to put IAHS in front 1-0. The Indians got their second run on a Dustin Reese single to score Roberts.
"We had some key hits at the right time tonight," Brian Long said. "Our hitting has kind of struggled to start the season, but when we needed a hit tonight we got it."
Another key hit came in the sixth inning when a Bryan Loague single moved Shae Collum into scoring position. Collum came home on a passed ball.
A steady rain fell from the fourth inning on, but Hebert was in no danger of melting. The only hit he gave up on the night was a triple to Lambert on the first pitch of the fourth inning.
Lambert's triple was the only time a Tishomingo County batter made it that far around the diamond. Hebert only walked one batter, and the IAHS right-hander picked off a runner in the first inning.
"My fast ball was really working," Hebert said. "I only threw one changeup."
Hebert improves his record to 5-0, while Lambert drops to 5-1.
"This is a big win for us in the division," Hebert said.
IAHS' overall record of 8-5 might be deceiving. Those losses were to quality teams like Amory and Saltillo.
"We try to schedule tough opponents so we will be ready for division play," Brian Long said. "This was a tough one and we have six more to go."
IAHS 3, Tishomingo County 0
Tishomingo Co. 000 000 0 0 1 0
IAHS 000 021 x 3 5 2
WP - Ed Hebert (5-0). LP - Ricky Lambert (5-1). Multiple Hits: (I) Dustin Reese 2; 2B - (I) Ed Hebert; 3B - (T) Lambert.
Records: Tishomingo County 15-1, 0-1, IAHS 8-5, 1-0.
Notes: Tishomingo County hosts North Pontotoc Friday. IAHS hosts New Albany Thursday.