The playoffs began in Class 6A and Class 5A in the “Southern Six” Tuesday night.
Well, sort of….
St. Martin wasted little time in wrapping up the third and final playoff berth in Region 7-6A Tuesday afternoon.
The home-standing Yellow Jackets knocked off Pascgaouls 9-3 to secure the postseason spot, in the completion of a game that was suspended about two weeks ago due to weather delays.
A few hours later, visiting George County did the same in yet another do-or-die delayed contest in Region 8-5A as the Rebels held off Gautier 6-4 to take the third seed in that loop as well. Both games were do-or-die four all four teams s far as the playoff scenarios were concerned, or “Play-In” contests if you will.
In St. Martin Monday afternoon, the game between SMHS-PHS was resumed in the bottom of the fourth frame with the contest knotted up at 3-3 and the Yellow Jackets had the bases loaded. St. Martin’s Cameron Romero, the first batter up when the game resumed, promptly slapped a two-run single to give St. Martin a lead it would never relinquish at 5-3.
The Yellow Jackets put the game away in the next inning. Kadn Walker smacked a three-run home run in the midst of a four-run outburst to result in the final 9-3 outcome.
Romereo’s two hits and two RBIs paced SMHS at the plate, and Sean Stigletts also chipped in two hits including a run-scoring single to the winning effort. Tristen Junkert had a two-run double, while Walker’s trio of RBIs on his round-tripper was a huge blow in the contest.
Angel Sollivan cracked a two-run home run for Pascagoula before the game was suspended, and Adrian Rosado had a run-scoring single as well for the Panthers. Keilon Parnell, Aiden Green and Terry Lee each had a double apiece for PHS.
Caleb Lawrence picked up the pitching win, while Griffin Wells took the loss.
Pascagoula will close out Region 7-6A play Thursday at home as league champion D’Iberville comes calling at Richie Tillman Field, and then the Panthers will travel to Pass Christian on Friday to close out the season.
St. Martin has ended the regular season and won’t play again until next week when the Yellow Jackets face Gulfport on Tuesday to begin the state playoffs.
In Gautier Tuesday night, George County earned a trip to the state playoffs for the 13th consecutive season with what turned out to be an exciting 6-4 win over the home-standing Gators to close out the Region 8-5A schedule for both teams.
The game was originally scheduled to.be played almost three weeks ago but was also postponed due to inclement weather.
Each team scored a run apiece in the first inning before George County seemingly took command by posting a five spot in the top of the third frame taking a 6-1 advantage.
The Gators cut into the five-run deficit with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third to make it 6-3.
The score stood that way until the bottom of the seventh, when Gautier loaded the bases with one out and standout Kaden Irving strolled to the plate. Irving has been intentionally walked with the bases loaded more than five times in his career, including once in the same situation by George County last season. But veteran Rebel head coach Brandon Davis decided to let his ace pitcher Brody Howell face off with Irving on Tuesday night, and Irving launched the second pitch deep to right field with a shot that would have been out of many ballparks elsewhere in South Mississippi.
But Rebel right fielder Case Crowley settled under the ball at the base of the fence and hauled it in for the second out as a Gautier runner scored on the sacrifice fly to make it 6-4.
Howell then got a strike out of the next Gator hitter to end the game. Howell earned the win with a complete game three-hitter, striking out nine and walking three.
Ben Davis had a game-high three hits, including a double, and drove in a pair of runs to guide George County at the plate, while cousin Taite Davis had two hits including a run-scoring double. Gage Reeves also had a double, while Howell, Tripp Lightsey and Case Crawley each drove in a run apiece for GCHS.
Gautier got a run-scoring single from Sebastian Gonzalez and Irving’s RBI. Irving also took the loss with five frames of relief work on the hill.
George County will face Columbia in Poplarville at Pearl River Community College Thursday night and then finish off the regular season before hosting Harrison Central on Saturday afternoon.
The loss ended the season for Gautier, as well as the prep career of the Ole Miss signee Irving whose exploits during his senior season on both the football field and baseball diamond on the pages of 228Sports.com.