BOONEVILLE — Following a rather sloppy and mistake-filled game one between Booneville and Amory last Friday, a 9-8 walk-off victory by the Blue Devils as the result of a wild pitch, coach Kevin Williams’ BHS squad traveled to Monroe County Saturday with one goal: Defeat the Panthers again and finish the sweep of the 3A north half championship series.
With Jackson McCoy in charge on the mound, keeping Amory off balance all evening by scattering four hits while allowing no runs, Booneville advanced to the MHSAA Class 3A state championship for the first time in 22 years. They will face south champion Magee, who swept Clarkdale, for the golden trophy beginning next Tuesday at Trustmark Park in Pearl.
“Both teams made a lot of mistakes on Friday, including us, but we were still fortunate to walk it off for the win,” said Williams following the series-clinching victory. “I really wasn’t too concerned having to turn around and go down to Amory the next night because this large senior class have been through the wars before and knew exactly what they needed to do and they got it done.
“Jackson was really good on the mound, our defense played great and we didn’t commit a bunch of errors, and that was very important considering what happened the night before.”
The Devils put the first run on the board in the top of the second but didn’t score again until plating two more in the sixth while the Panthers hurler continued to toss the ball rather well himself.
In a side-by-side comparison, game one saw the teams combine for 17 runs on 15 hits with seven combined errors. Game two was the mirror opposite with four total runs, 11 hits and just one error.
When the dust settled and the last out was recorded on Saturday, the Blue Devils celebrated with a dog pile with lots of hugs and happy tears.
“We’re not done yet,” said Williams. “We have one more goal to accomplish and that’s the one we talk about every year before the season starts – winning a state title,”
Booneville and Magee will take the field at Trustmark Park, home of the Double-A Atlanta Braves affiliate Mississippi Braves, at approximately 4 p.m. next Tuesday in game one of the best of three series to determine the best 3A baseball team in the Magnolia State for the 2021 season.
Booneville, now 24-10, moved into the Top-10 rankings this week, checking in at No. 8 while Magee is 27-5 and ranked No. 17.
In some interesting stat notes from game two of the Booneville/Amory series, the Devils were led by Ben Davis with two hits, including the only double, and three total bases. Bryce Lindsey, Kyle Church, John Adam White, Ben Sandlin and McCoy were responsible for Booneville’s other hits. John Daniel Deaton, along with Sandlin were both hit by pitch while Lindsey and Church had sacrifices. The Blue Devils were also successful on the base paths, stealing three bases with White, McCoy and Cruz Taylor responsible for the swipes.
McCoy went the distance, striking out three while scattering three walks.
See Friday’s Daily Corinthian for a 3A title series preview before a game-day story next Tuesday as the series begins.