MABEN - John Wofford Williams made the most of his at-bats for the East Webster Wolverines Monday night.
As the leadoff hitter, Williams knows he's going to have some chances to swing the bat.
Williams had two hits in four at-bats and drove in all three runs as the Wolverines defeated the cross-county rival Eupora Eagles 3-2 in eight innings. He drove in Tyler Doss for the winning run in the bottom of the eighth.
"I'm doing all I can to help this team win," Williams said. "It's been great and we've all worked hard. We've been laying down bunts and playing small ball all year."
Prior to the game, East Webster recognized seniors Ty Hendrix, Conner Burton, Dillon Henley, Brennan Sparks and Codie Silver for their contributions to the program.
It may have been senior night for the Wolverines, but it took an eighth grader in Williams to get the needed offense.
Williams hit an 0-2 pitch from Eupora pitcher Will Bowen to left and easily scored Doss from third base.
"He's hit the ball like that since he's been in the lineup," East Webster coach Wes Johnson said. "I thought about squeezing a couple of times, but felt like he could put the ball in play when he got two strikes. It was kind of nervous there, but he did a good job."
It was the eighth-straight win for the Wolverines as they improved to 17-6 overall and 8-0 in Class 2A, Region 5, District 4. East Webster has already clinched first place in the division and get a bye in the postseason.
The Wolverines played two games Saturday and have a doubleheader scheduled with Leake County today so Johnson decided to split up the pitching against the Eagles between Silver, Derek Jones and Hendrix.
"We used up some pitching Saturday so we came out and threw some guys who haven't thrown a lot," Johnson said. "That was Derek Jones first chance to throw in varsity and did well."
Hendrix was on the mound at the end and struck out four of the seven batters he faced to get the win.
Johnson said he was only going to use Hendrix if the game was close, but would have pulled him if the game had gone to the ninth.
"I wasn't going to let him go a little further," Johnson said.
East Webster jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third inning when Williams drove in two runs with a single, but Eupora tied the game with one run in the fourth and another in the fifth. Trey Pittman had an RBI single in the fifth.
Neither team scored again until Williams' game-winner in the eighth.
Williams, Sparks and Codie McKee had two singles each for the Wolverines, while Cole Marlow had two singles for the Eagles.
Eupora, which fell to 14-6 overall and 6-2 in the division, used five pitchers. Casey Oliver, Brent Chapman, Jalan Embry and Bowen followed Rusty Johnson to the mound for the Eagles.
"It was a pitcher's battle game and neither team hit the ball real well," Eupora coach Lee Berryhill said.
"There were very few opportunities, but both teams competed on the mound and gave each other a chance to win.
"Our playoffs start Friday so we knew we had to split all of our guys and get everybody ready for this weekend."
The Eagles travel to Lumberton Friday and host a doubleheader Saturday if necessary.