Several teams in the “Southern Six” that have already secured playoff berths finished up the last week of the regular season with some tune-up games this week.
Biloxi, which won the Region 8-6A title, traveled to Long Beach Thursday night and the Indians came away with a 12-7 win in 10 innings. The win was the 21st of the season for BHS under the direction of first-year head coach Hawtin Buchanan against just five defeats.
The Bearcats and Indians went into extra innings after some back and forth scoring in the late innings of regulation left the game knotted up at 7-7.
But the Indians, who started the season with 12th straight wins before losing three out of the next five, stormed the Beach for five runs in the top of the 10th to secure their seventh win in the last nine games.
Robbie Hokamp paced the Indians at the plate with three hits, including a pair of doubles one of which led off the eventful top of the final frame. Hokamp also drove in two runs, as did Judson Byars, Aiden Harrison and Ja’Darius Hartley while Byars and Harrison each had a pair of RBIs like Hokamp as well. Logan Fontenelle cracked a two-run double in the first inning, and Ian Henry had two hits including an RBI-triple. Bryson Pisarich registered a run-scoring single in the Indians’ winning 13-hit attack also.
Hunter Blackwell led Long Beach at the plate driving in a game-high three runs, including a run-scoring single in the bottom of the seventh that tied the game up and sent it to extra frames. That hit scored Logan Thomas, who doubled just before that, and Thomas drove in a run as well. Nathan Kenworthy had a pair of hits and drove in a run, and Jake Thomas also added a pair of hits for LBHS. Brady Watts registered an RBI and scored two runs.
Shawn Gollott picked up the win for Biloxi with five solid innings of relief work, while Jake Thomas took the loss.
The Bearcats are the third seed in Region 7-5A, and will begin the Class 5A state playoffs on the road Monday at Vancleave.
And speaking of VHS, the Bulldogs split a pair of games at home this week warming up for the playoffs after clinching the second seed in Region 8-5A.
On Thursday, head coach Justin Edwards’ crew knocked off St. Patrick 9-2 to move to 19-9 on the season.
Vancleave jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead with three runs in both of the first and second stanzas to take command and cruise to the win. Tyler West wielded a huge bat at the plate for VHS, collecting a game-high four hits as well as a game-high three runs batted in. Asher Henley added a pair of hits and an RBI to the winning 11-hit Bulldog attack, while Martin Shaw added a run-scoring double also.
Cohen Weinhoffer cracked a run-scoring triple for the Fighting Irish, and John Hay had a team-high two hits with Otis Brooks driving in a run also.
In addition to his heroics at the plate, West also picked up the pitching win while Weinhoffer was tagged with the loss.
The Fighting Irish finished as the third seed in Region 8-3A and are set to start the Class 3A state playoffs on the road against St. Andrews Episcopal in Ridgeland.
On Tuesday, also at “The Landing” in Vancleave, West Harrison ended its season with a 3-1 win over the Bulldogs.
The Hurricanes, who missed out on the Class 5A playoffs this season, sealed the close win by breaking a 1-1 tie with single runs in both of the fifth and sixth stanzas.
Landen Wallace collected two hits and drove in a pair of runs for WHHS, while Hunter Ross added a double and freshman Jordan Stapleton drove in a run in the win as well.
West had two hits for VHS, and Henley’s RBI-double provided the only Bulldog run.
Ross picked up the win with a complete game effort on the mound, striking out eight and scattering four hits and allowing the one run. Levi Tapp took the loss.