Sharff, Purvis begin season red-hot offensivelyBy CAMAL PETRO,
PURVIS – The Purvis Tornadoes did not hit the ball well last year. As a team, they were .275 from the plate, which cost them a few chances of winning more games. Even though it’s two games into the young season, Purvis is off to a hot start from the dish.
After a 14-hit outburst Tuesday night against Lumberton, Purvis is hitting .426 (20-for-47) to help start the season 2-0. The Tornadoes run-ruled the Panthers and earned a 13-0 win in five innings over their Lamar County neighbors.
Purvis opened the season with a 4-3 walk-off win over PCS last week, as well.
“I thought (Lumberton’s) pitching was pretty good, I mean, they had a little velocity it seemed to me,” Purvis coach Tony Farlow said. “We didn’t have some hits early against PCS, and the game was a nail-biter till the end, but tonight we had some key hits.”
Junior Parker Sharff is a major reason why Purvis is seeing success at the plate, as he has started the season hitting 5-for-6 through the first two games with a walk, four RBI and three doubles.
“He’s been hot,” Farlow said. “We need that out of some guys. We need some guys to get hot because the whole team can’t be hot. Whenever he quits hitting it, someone needs to take his spot.”
Not only is Sharff hitting the ball well, he notched the walk-off hit against PCS prior to Tuesday’s 2-for-2 night. He added two doubles, a walk and three RBI against Lumberton.
“I feel good,” he said. “It’s all preparation and work we put in every day. I’m just doing my job and trying to help the team.”
Sharff, the five-hole hitter, began his night with a two-out double in the first inning to pick up his first RBI. That gave Purvis an early 2-0 lead. In the second inning, he worked a full count before taking first on a walk.
“I’m seeing a lot of pitches. That’s easy to do when you have guys hitting home runs in front of you,” Sharff said of his walk. “I’m seeing a lot of fastballs and I’m just capitalizing.”
Junior Casey Burge hit an opposite-field home run in the at-bat prior to Sharff’s walk to give Purvis a 7-0 advantage.
In the third inning with the Tornadoes leading 8-0, Sharff doubled to right center to score two more runs and put the run-rule into play.
Sharff acknowledges the hot hitting won’t last the entire season. After all, it’s baseball and slumps happen. However, Sharff wants to keep the same approach during practice and in games to ride the wave as long as possible.
“Just come in every day and stay level-headed,” he said. “Not too high and not too low. I’m just trying to keep it up and keep producing.”
Junior Mason Kendrick is also contributing at the plate. He’s off to a 4-for-5 start to the young season with two walks, two RBI and two runs scored. Senior Trenton Flatt is 2-for-3 and senior Ty Howell is 3-for-6 from the plate so far this season, too. Kendrick and Howell both had multiple hit nights Tuesday, as Kendrick totaled three singles while Howell tripled in the first inning and singled in the third.
Kendrick batted in the nine-hole against Lumberton and Howell followed at the top of the order.
Purvis and the Panthers (2-1) will play a rematch Friday in Lumberton. The game is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. first pitch.