Vincent baseball team finishes second in state

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 21, 2002

The Vincent Yellow Jackets ran out of steam after a tremendous run this season to reach the finals of the 2002 Class 2A high school baseball state championship series.

Amassing an overall record of 27-12, the Yellow Jackets fell twice to Gordo (30-6) by identical scores of 7-0 on Thursday and Friday to finish as runner-up for the high school baseball Class 2A state championship at Montgomery’s Paterson Field.

&uot;I just don’t know what happened,&uot; said VHS head baseball coach Todd Davis. &uot;I guess we were just not meant to win.&uot;

Davis said the back to back loses to Gordo represented the only times this season his team was shut out.

&uot;We just weren’t in charge,&uot; he said.

However, Davis repeated a comment he made prior to the start of Friday’s game, &uot;I still wouldn’t trade my bunch for any team in the state … I love these kids.&uot;

The VHS head coach was quick to give notice that he would get to work next week to get his team back for a shot at the state crown next year.

The 2002 Yellow Jackets included Ryan Davis, Draper Yowe, Jared Smiley, Kyle Taylor, Andre McKinney, Brent Garrett, Derrione Kelley, Darnell Kelley, Shannon Morgan, Jay Gibson, Josh Wallis, Tavaris Slaughter, Zac Martin and Derrick Swain.

Davis was assisted in coaching the Yellow Jackets this season by former head baseball coach Dwight Spradley.

Spradley recently assumed head football coaching duties.

Morgan took the loss for VHS in the first game on Thursday night in which Vincent was out hit nine to three and in which the Yellow Jackets committed four errors to two for Gordo. Morgan gave up seven runs on nine hits.

He struck out six batters, but gave up three earned runs and three base on balls.

Swain took the loss in the second game on Friday night in which Vincent was outhit by the same margin of nine to three. However, the Jackets cut their errors to one in the championship-deciding contest.

Swain gave up four runs on five hits. He also gave up two earned runs and three base on balls and recorded no strikeouts.

Coming in at relief for Swain, Gibson gave up three runs on four hits.

He gave up no earned runs and two base on balls while striking out one batter.

Davis said he decided to go with Swain in the second contest of the series because he had &uot;… done real good for us in pressure games.

&uot;He’s a senior and seniors got us here. We’re going to ride them.&uot;

Davis also said he team was &uot;tight&uot; in the first contest as it was VHS’s first shot at a state crown in 17 years.

He said there was no one with experience to talk to so the team would know what to expect.

He noted that Gordo was the state runner-up last season