The state baseball playoffs are getting off to a bit of an early start across the state of Mississippi as well as in “Southern Six”.
Long Beach travels to “The Landing” in Vancleave to start that best-of-three series in that Class 5A opening round match-up with the Bulldogs. The Bearcats are the third seed out of Region 7-5A, while Vahncleave is the second seed from Region 8-5A.
The state playoffs in all classifications were originally scheduled to start on Tuesday night, but weather concerns caused some squads to move the opening games up a day.
These teams split a pair of games earlier in the season in a two-game home-and-home series early in the season as the Bulldogs won 2-0 at home and Long Beach won 8-1 at home.
In that first game, the Bulldogs got a combined four-hit shutout from Hunter Parker and Levi Tapp as Parker threw five frames and took the win striking out six.
Parker also came up big at the plate for VHS, with two hits including a double and he drove in a run. Tyler West drove in the other run, while Brady Dowdy also had two hits including a double. Tanner Willis also had two hits for VHS.
Hunter Blackwell had two hits for LBHS, and Eli Hodges took the loss.
In the 8-1 Long Beach win, W.P. Bermudez picked up the win on the hill for the Bearcats, hurling six strong innings while scattering four hits and allowing the lone Bulldog run while striking out nine.
He received support at the plate from several teammates, including Nathan Kenworthy who drove in a pair of runs with a double and a triple as well as Ashton Schepens and Will Brady each of whom collected two hits and an RBI apiece. Jake Thomas and Wesley Watson each had a pair of hits in the winning 12-hit attack, while Bermudez and Brady Watts also each drove in a run.
Asher Henley recorded two hits and drove in that lone Bulldog run, while Tyler West took the loss.
The other Class 5A first-round match-up in the “Southern Six” has Pearl River Central hosting George County. Picayune and East Central have opening-round byes.
In Class 6A, Ocean Springs is hosting Harrison Central and Gulfport has the home-field advantage over St. Martin. Both of those series are set to begin on Tuesday.
In Class 4A, Stone is hosting South Pike and Pass Christian is hosting Raymond while McComb is hosting Bay High and North Pike is hosting Greene County.
In Class 3A, St. Stanislaus is hosting McLaurin and St. Andrews Episcopal is hosting St. Patrick.
In Class 1A, Resurrection is hosting West Tallahatchie.