GLEN – Alcorn Central has its first deep playoff run since 2016, and they meet up with a familiar foe in county rival Kossuth in the third round.
The Bears finished off their Class 3A second round sweep with a 3-2 win over Hatley on Thursday night, also having the most wins in a season since that same season.
“We fought through some adversity, and hats off to Hatley,” Alcorn Central coach Trae Bain said. “They have a lot of young guys who are playing well, and we’re glad they are moving down to 2A. I’m glad we’re past them and not going to a Game 3.”
Both teams scored a run in the first inning and stayed in the 1-1 tie until the bottom of the fifth.
After trailing 1-0, the Bears responded quickly in the bottom of the first. Andrew Williams drew a leadoff walk, stole second and went to third on Jackson Miller’s base hit. A strikeout and a pickoff threatened to keep them off the board, but Noah Canten and Reed Johnson kept the line moving with walks and Alex Gee was hit by a pitch to bring in the first run.
Drake Williams accounted for Alcorn Central’s only baserunners from then until the fifth inning when he singled in the second and drew a walk in the fourth.
Andrew Williams got the inning going again in the fifth, leading off with a hit and stealing second again. Miller came up with his second hit of the game, and Williams came home on the throw to make it 2-1.
“Jackson had a big hit there to break the tie, and it’s another freshman coming through in a big spot,” Bain said. “There’s Andrew on base again, doing what he does, gets an infield single and uses his speed, steals second and finds a way to get to third. That’s what you have just come to expect from him.”
Miller went to second on a passed ball, third on Landon Powers’ sacrifice bunt and came in for the run that made the difference on Canten’s RBI groundout.
The Tigers cut into the lead, loading the bases and scoring a run with no outs to make it 3-2, but Jarrett Thomas came in and got a double play to help get out of the jam.
“We have finally been able to limit those snowball innings,” Bain said. “Our defense has stepped up and made plays, and when we have put guys on, the pitchers have stepped up and made pitches. That’s been a big difference and why we won these two games for sure. They were right there, and we had to make those pitches and plays.”
Thomas picked up the save with two scoreless innings in relief. Johnson was the winning pitcher, going the first five and allowing an earned run on two hits and three walks.
“We got ourselves in some trouble with some walks and hit by pitches,” Bain said. “Reed didn’t have his best stuff, but he fought through it. He wasn’t feeling good and his stuff wasn’t working for him, but he was getting it over the plate enough to allow them to get themselves out. He extended himself and got us in a good spot. Jarrett did what he does, comes in a tough spot with the bases loaded and gets that double play, which was so big. He’s everything we need him to be right now.”
Kossuth 3, Nettleton 1
The Aggies trailed 1-0 until the top of the seventh where they tied the game to force extra innings, then got the go-ahead runs in the top of the ninth.
Hunter Hutchens went the distance on the mound, allowing one run on six scattered hits, walking one and striking out ten. He matched zeroes with Nettleton’s Cruz Mitchell, who struck out 12 Aggies through the first eight innings.
Kossuth scored its first run in the seventh when Bryson Jackson doubled, and his courtesy runner Logan Williams scored on Rylan Henry’s sacrifice fly.
The Aggies pushed ahead in the ninth after three Nettleton errors. Ashton Knight had the only hit in the inning.
Hamilton 5, Biggersville 4
Noah Hester’s walkoff single forced a Game 3 in the battle of the Lions.
Biggersville trailed 4-1 at one point and tied the game in the top of the sixth on a two-run triple by Tre Gunn and a sacrifice fly from Drew Rowsey. Luke Overstreet scored the first run of the game on a passed ball.
The visiting Lions were held to just three hits – Gunn’s triple, a double from Rowsey and a single from Logan Ellsworth.
West Lauderdale 6, Corinth 3
Corinth got to within 3-2 in the bottom of the third inning but saw West Lauderdale widen that gap with some insurance runs in the fifth and sixth innings to finish off the sweep.
On the mound, Madden Butler and Cole Sanders combined to strike out seven and allow four hits apiece.
Butler and Griffin Enis each hit doubles at the plate.
Triston Marlar tied the game at 1-1 on an RBI groundout in the bottom of the second after walks to Eli Burciaga and Ethan Huff. Huff’s RBI single cut it to 3-2 in the third.
The final run scored in the sixth after a walk to Marlar, a hit by Ben Austin and a West Lauderdale error on a fielder’s choice by Samuel Curtis.
Amory 19, Booneville 5
Tre Miller hit a double and drove in two runs in the loss, while Riley Barnes also hit a double.
Vardaman 4, Thrasher 3
Caden Boren had a double and a pair of RBIs, and Clint Lambert and Jude White combined to strike out five in the loss. Thrasher scored two of its three runs on Boren’s double in the seventh that made it a one-run game.
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