Homefield was the place to be for an advantage Tuesday night in Class 6A play in the “Southern Six”.
Both Ocean Springs and Gulfport picked up wins to open the Class 6A South State playoffs, as the Greyhounds bounced Harrison Central 12-2 in just five frames and the Admirals shutout St. Martin 5-0 behind a complete game no-hit shutout from Josh Lee.
Both of the best-of-three series will resume Friday with Games three, if needed, set for Saturday.
In Gulfport, Lee, a Southeastern Louisiana signee, enjoyed a dominant performance over the visiting Yellow Jackets as he saved his best outing of the season. Lee not only shutout out SMHS from the hit department and on the scoreboard at Herbert Wilson Field, but he struck out 14 in the process and walked just two.
Gulfport’s Ethan Suroweic, and Ole Miss signee, collected a game-high four hits, including two doubles, in the win and drove in a game-high three runs in giving Lee all the support he would need. Nicolas Williams added two hits, including a double, and an RBI, while Tulane signee Ethan Garner added a double and Joel Smith drove in a run as well.
Caleb Lawrence, one of four SMHS hurlers, started and took the loss.
Both teams face off in St. Martin Friday night at 6 p.m.
Meanwhile, in Ocean Springs Tuesday night, The home-standing Admirals of first-year head coach Tommy Walker wasted no time at all in taking a lead they would never relinquish. The Greyhounds tallied one run in the first inning and added three more in the second and another pair in the third to take a commanding 6-0 lead heading into the fourth frame.
The Red Rebels got on the board with single runs in the fourth and fifth stanzas, but OSHS bounced back with six runs in the bottom of the fifth to end the game on the “Mercy Rule”.
Both Jack Jordan and Brock Cantrell smacked two-run home runs for the Greyhounds, and the homer was one of three hits on the night for sophomore standout Jordan who also had a single and a run-scoring double to give him the same number of RBIs as he had hits. Tanner Beaugez also had three hits for OSHS in the win, including a pair of doubles, and he also drove in two runs. Grant Russell also drove in a pair of runs with two hits.
Southern Miss signee McCarty English went the five-frame distance on the mound to pick up the win for OSHS, allowing four hits while striking out five and walking three.
Tri Gaughf had half of the Red Rebels’ four hits, and Jaxson Moore drove in a run for HCHS. Gaughf also took the loss, starting and throwing three frames. The teams meet again in Lyman Friday night.