PEARL — St. Stanislaus is one win away from capturing its third state baseball championship in 13 years.
In game one of the Class 3A state championship series here at Trustmark Park Tuesday afternoon, the Rock-A-Chaws stunned defending state champion Amory 7-3 to take a 1-0 series lead. St. Stanislaus can wrap up yet another gold glove Thursday with a win in game two.
“It’s huge to get the first win,” SSC head coach Brad Corley said. “We didn’t play our best game, but we found a way to win and that’s what counts.”
The Rocks trailed 3-1 entering the top of the fifth inning, but SSC put together a fortuitous frame to take score five runs and take a 6-3 lead thanks to four consecutive walks with the bases loaded and another run scored on a wild pitch.
Seth Farni, Hugh LeMasters, Jeremy Mares and Kyle Stegall each drew bases-loaded walks and LeMasters came in to score on the throwing miscue.
The Panthers took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first frame, thanks to an RBI-single by Jack Howell and a fielding error by the Rocks as well.
The Rocks got on the board with an RBI-ground out by Brady Wallis in the top of the second, but Amory balanced that run out with one of its own in the bottom of the third frame on a Bryce Glenn RBI-infield single to push the advantage back to two runs at 3-1.
That set the stage for the fateful fourth for SSC that changed the course of the game.
Wallis joined the action again with an RBI-single to right field in the seventh stanza to give the Rocks yet another insurance run and result in the final count at 7-3.
The Ole Miss signee Farni, who relieved SSC starter Hill Gainey in the bottom of the fifth, allowed Amory to load the bases in the bottom of the seventh but struck out the final Panther batter to seal the win.
“We’re always confident when we have Hill Gainey and Seth Farni on the mound,” Corley concluded.
St. Stanislaus moves to 25-12 overall with the latest win, while the loss was just Amory’s fifth on the season as the Panthers stand 31-5.
The Rocks also won state championships in Class 4A in 2010 and 2015 under former head coach Brad Logan. St. Stanislaus, now in its third season under the guidance of head coach Brad Corley, are vying for their first ever Class 3A state crown.
Game time for Thursday game two is once again set for 4 p.m., on Thursday here at the home of the Atlanta Braves AA affiliate Mississippi Braves.
The SSC win was the second in as many games for South State champions in the MHSAA state championship series after Defending Class 1A state champ Resurrection pulled out an 8-7 come-from-behind win over West Union in the opening game of the day.