Hounds fall big in third consecutive state title game

Published 11:57 am Monday, May 21, 2007

The stage couldn’t get any larger. A decisive third game to decide the 2007 MPSA Class A State Champion.

For the Huntington Hounds the stage was familiar. But the results no different.

For the third year in a row, Huntington failed to win the one that counts. They are runners up again.

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Caleb Reed and Bayou Academy stepped up to the occasion, and routed Huntington 12-0 in five innings to clinch the state crown Sunday at Colt Field.

“It’s a disappointment for sure,” Huntington coach Mitch Ashmore said. “We will be competitive again for sure.”

Huntington was defeated in the championship round by the Tunica Institute in 2005, and lost to Porter’s Chapel last season.

All three of the series went to a decisive third game.

The state title is the first in baseball for the Cleveland school.

“It’s one of those things that (happens) when you work and the kids work and the bats came alive,” an emotional Bayou coach Rodney Martin said.

“They have chemistry and these guys really care about each other. We got a special bunch of kids.”

The Colts are 25-5 and the Hounds wrap up this year’s campaign at 21-15.

Bayou Academy took 2-0 in the first on runs from Cory McClendon and Brandon Baldwin.

BA plated seven more runs with two outs in the second inning. Four of the seven runs in the big inning were unearned.

Bayou used back-to-back solo home runs to lead off the third inning by nine-hole hitter Nick Hays and McClendon. Paul Mangalardi’s RBI double made it 12-0.

Reed, one of the top junior prospects in the state, controlled the contest from the mound.

The right-hander struck out eight Hounds, including the side in the first inning, and allowed only three hits in the complete-game shutout.

The Colts ripped Huntington’s pitching for nine hits.

The Hounds committed three errors for the contest.

Jordan Wilson picked up the loss for Huntington. Wilson pitched 1 and two thirds innings and gave up seven runs on four hits.

Wilson was relieved by Josh Lee, who shutdown the Colts in Game 2 on Thursday.

Lee gave up an additional five runs off five hits.

McClendon and Baldwin both went 2-for-3 with two RBIs.

Reed also helped himself out with a two-run double to deep right-center field.

The Colts have qualified for the post-season the past four seasons.