WCCA stays alive in South State series

Published 12:38 am Tuesday, April 29, 2008

BENTON — Brennan Bush’s infield single in the top of the seventh inning brought in Brandon Simon with the game-winning run as the WCCA Rams rallied to defeat the Benton Academy Raiders 5-4 Monday night.

With the win, WCCA (22-10) took Game 1 of the best-of-three MPSA Class A South State semifinal series and will have an opportunity to close out the series at home today in Game 2 at 6:30 p.m.

“It was a back-and-forth game. It was a battle that neither team wanted to concede. A very well-played baseball game,” WCCA head coach Ray Olive said. “Good solid baseball tonight with no errors. The lead changed three times in the final three innings.”

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The Rams went into the seventh trailing the Raiders 4-3. Cory Havard took first base on a walk, stole second and scored on a single by Simon. Simon then stole second with Bush at the plate. Then on an 0-2 count, Simon took off for third base and Bush hit a ground ball for a base hit that went between third base and shortstop.

Benton Academy’s third basemen dove for the ball and kept it in the infield. Simon then dove under the throw at home plate to give WCCA a 5-4 lead.

Then it was up to Sutton Olive to preserve the lead in the bottom of the seventh and he did just that. Winning pitcher Hayden Whetstone scattered four runs on eight hits in six innings.

“Whetstone gave us six great innings of pitching,” coach Olive said. “(Sutton) Olive came in in the seventh and closed it. Simon came through for us with two RBIs in big spots. Bottom of my order came through once again.”

Simon helped the Rams get back in the game with a leadoff home run in the top of the sixth inning. Hayden Holden then gave them a 3-2 lead with an RBI single.

Copiah Academy 17,

Centreville Academy 4

CENTREVILLE — With the exception of Copiah Academy and Centreville Academy baseball’s most sincere fans, not many people expected these two teams to be where they are right now.

And right now is the semifinal round of the MPSA Class AA South State Playoffs. But here were the Colonels, the South Wild Card No. 2 and third-place team from District 4-AA, and the surprising District 5-AA runner-up Tigers taking on each other in this best-of-three series.

On Monday night, Game 1 went to Copiah Academy as the Colonels continued their momentum from the first round as they took advantage of seven errors to take a big win over the Tigers to take a one-game-to-none advantage.

Game 2 is scheduled for Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Copiah Academy in Gallman.

Copiah Academy (16-12) got off to a fast start with four runs in the top of the first inning. But Centreville answered with three runs in the bottom of the first and it appeared like this game would be a good one.

That all ended when the Colonels started to pull away as they scored three runs in the top of the second inning while the Tigers managed just one run in the bottom of that inning to trail 7-4.

Centreville (12-18) had its opportunities to get back in the game, but could not take advantage of them when it needed to.

“We’ve played well the last two weeks. Tonight, we came out flat,” Centreville head coach Jason Horne said. “We left the bases loaded twice. Couldn’t catch a fly ball. Mistakes cost us tonight.”

Copiah pitcher Scotty Reese looked like he was going to give up some runs both times the Tigers had the bases loaded with nobody out midway through the game. Yet somehow Reese pitched himself out of those jams.

The Colonels took control of the game by scoring 10 runs in the last four innings while Reese didn’t give a run after the second. Guess led the Colonels at the plate by going 2-for-3 with a triple and a home run.

Despite taking the loss on the mound for the Tigers, Kyle Brown went 2-for-4 with both hits going for doubles.