Ten area schools advance to baseball postseason

Published 1:06 am Thursday, April 17, 2008

NATCHEZ — The 2008 high school baseball regular season has ended for most local and area teams and now the playoffs are just around the corner.

There are the teams that were expected to reach the postseason — Cathedral, Trinity Episcopal, ACCS, and Franklin County. And then there ended up being some surprises — Natchez High, Centreville, WCCA and Jefferson County.

Cathedral, the Region 8-1A champion, will take on Region 7-1A No. 4 seed Mt. Olive in the first round of the MHSAA Class 1A South State Playoffs. The Green Wave went undefeated on their way to the region championship.

Email newsletter signup

Game 1 will be played at Mt. Olive on Friday at 6 p.m. Game 2 will be played here at Chester Willis Field at 1 p.m. Saturday with Game 3, if necessary, at 4 p.m.

As for the Pirates, Green Wave head coach Craig Beesley said, “They’re very athletic. They like to steal a lot of bases. One of the McNairs pitches for them and he’s also their quarterback. I’m sure he has a pretty good arm.”

Franklin County, which went undefeated in claiming the Region 7-3A championship, will go up against Region 8-3A No. 4 seed Greene County.

Game 1 of the best-of-three series will be at Greene County in Leakesville at 6 p.m. Friday. Game 2 will be played at Franklin County Saturday at 3 p.m. with Game 3, if necessary, at approximately 5 p.m.

“Greene County plays in a very competitive district. They play a good brand of ball,” Franklin County head coach Jeremy Loy said. “We expect a good game. They are traditionally a very good baseball school. We’re excited. We’re ready to play them.”

Jefferson County finished third in Region 7-3A and will take on Region 8-3A runner-up Purvis in the first round. The first game will take place Friday at Jefferson County with Game 2 and, if necessary, Game 3 Saturday at Purvis.

Natchez High finished in second place in Division 6-5A and will take on Region 5-5A No. 3 seed Hattiesburg in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs.. The first round is a double-elimination tournament with the site of each region tournament at a No. 1 seed. In this case, Natchez High and Hattiesburg will play at Region 7-1A champion Ocean Springs.

The Bulldogs and the Tigers will take on each other next Thursday. The winner of that game will take on Ocean Springs in Game 2 on Friday, April 25 with the loser of Game 1 and Game 2 taking on each other in an elimination game after the completion of Game 2. Game 4 and, if necessary, Game 5, will take place on Saturday, April 26.

In the MPSA, one team will have to go through a one-day, round-robin tournament to advance to the MPSA Class A South State Playoffs while three teams from Class AA don’t have to worry about going that route as they have already clinched spots in South State.

The WCCA Rams finished in third place in the District 6-A Tournament and now will have to defeat University Christian, which finished third in District 5, and Wayne Academy, which finished third in District 4, to move on to South State.

The round-robin tournament will take place at Central Hinds Academy in Raymond. The first game will be University Christian against Wayne Academy at 12:30 p.m. Then WCCA will take on University Christian at 3 p.m. The final game of the day will be Wayne Academy against WCCA at 5:30 p.m. The top two teams from this tournament will be the South Wild Cards No. 1 and No. 2 at Class A South State.

Trinity Episcopal won the District 3-AA championship while ACCS finished in second place. Centreville Academy finished in second place in District 5-AA. The Class AA South State Playoffs, which are all best-of-three series, begins next Monday.

Trinity will take on the South Wild Card No. 1 team in the first round and the Saints will be the home team in their series.. ACCS will take on District 4-AA runner-up and the Rebels will be the home team in their series with the Cougars. Centreville will take on District 4-AA champion Simpson Academy, with Simpson Academy being the home team in that series.

The two wild-card slots for Class AA South State will be determined between District 3 third-place Prairie View, District 4 third-place Copiah Academy and District 5 third-place Oak Forest. This one-day, round-robin tournament will be played Friday at Huntington School in Ferriday.

The first game will be Copiah Academy against Prairie View at 12:30 p.m. Game 2 will be Oak Forest taking on Copiah Academy at 3 p.m. Game 3 will be Prairie View going up against Oak Forest at 5:30 p.m.

Two local teams in the LHSAA have already clinched playoffs berths — Vidalia and Monterey. The Vikings need a win at Avoyelles on Thursday to wrap no worse than a share of the District 3-3A championship with Marksville.

The Wolves finished 5-1 in District 3-B after taking care of Kilbourne last Thursday. They will finish with no worse than a share of the district championship with Forest.