Tyler Barnes swings the bat for Starkville High School against Columbus Tuesday night. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)
It wasn't quite the formula for success that the Starkville Yellowjackets were looking for against the Columbus Falcons Tuesday night.
Columbus kept expanding a lead on Starkville with eight runs in the first four innings and went on to win a 9-5 decision at Yellowjacket Stadium.
It was the first loss of the season for SHS under Brian Jones, who saw his team fall to 2-1.
"It was give up one, score one," Jones said. "We just never could really put up a zero and that's what we're trying to do. We got behind and the pitchers got behind. We had to throw some fastballs in there and we're not overpowering guys.
"That's the name of our game. We have to throw strikes and we've got to make the plays when we've got the chance."
After the Falcons jumped on top 1-0 in the first inning, the Jackets scored two runs on four hits in their half of the frame. Bryton Conley, Jalen Campbell, Tanner Clanton and Tyler Barnes all had singles for SHS with Clanton's being the only RBI hit.
Columbus regained the advantage at 5-2 in the second inning in a big way with four runs on four hits. Jimmy Cockrell had a two-run double for the Falcons.
The Jackets closed the gap to 5-4 in the second with a pair of runs, but Columbus got a solo home run from Greg Sykes to add one tally to its lead.
Starkville's final run of the game came in the third when Max Bartlett singled, advanced to second base on a balk and scored on another RBI single by Clanton.
From the fourth inning to the conclusion, the duo on the mound of Hunter Mullis and Christian Dale for the Falcons kept the Jackets scoreless and gave up only two hits.
"We had the chances to score a few more runs, but couldn't put them across," Jones said. "Credit to Columbus because they held on, did what they had to do and extended the lead a little bit."
The Falcons (2-1) added a run in the fifth when Logan Shackelford singled and came home on a error.
Both teams had 10 hits for the game, but Columbus had four extra base hits. Along with Sykes' homer, Cockrell had two doubles and Shackelford added a double.
Clanton had three singles for SHS, while AJ Brown, Harper Day, Kyle Thrasher, Bartlett, Barnes, Conley and Campbell had one single each.
"We don't have the big boppers," Jones said. "That's just the way it is."
The Jackets play at Louisville Friday in their next game.
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