Tigers open playoffs here Friday
Published 8:42 am Wednesday, April 20, 2022
South Panola will look to break a brief two-game losing streak as they open the Class 6A playoffs with a best-of-three game series Friday at home against Starkville.
Game two moves to Starkville Saturday with game three, if necessary, in Batesville Monday. First pitch for all games will be at 7 p.m.
The winner of the series advances to the second round where they will take on defending state champion Madison Central next week.
The Tigers (13-10) finished the regular season on the short end of two narrow one-run losses at home to Grenada 5-4 and at Oxford 6-5.
Starkville (8-14) finished third in Region 4 behind district champion Oxford and Grenada.
In their final regular season home game Thursday (April 14) South Panola led 4-2 going into the seventh inning before the Chargers plated three runs on one hit, two walks and two hit batters.
The Tigers struck first with a run in the first when leadoff hitter Eli Russell was hit by a pitch and later scored on an error. After Grenada scored a run in the second, South Panola regained the lead at 2-1 in the fourth with Baylor Scammon’s sacrifice fly scoring John Blockmon, who had led off the inning with a single.
The Tigers increased their lead to 4-1 in the fifth when Brayden Martin drew a one-out walk and scored ahead of Mari Boyd’s triple to center field. Boyd stole home later in the inning.
South Panola collected five hits with Blockmon, Micheal Johnson, Aidan Williams and Brock Ware adding singles.
Williams got the starting pitching nod and went six strong innings with four strikeouts, two walks and two runs (one earned) in the no decision.
Scammon was tagged with the loss, surrendering two runs on no hits while facing three batters. Ware was credited with one inning of relief, giving up one run on one hit.
Oxford pushed across the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning on Jack Harper’s squeeze bunt with one out to score Ben Goubeaux from third to give the Chargers a 6-5 victory last Tuesday (April 12)
South Panola battled back from a 4-1 deficit to knot the score a 5-5 on John Blockmon’s two-out solo home run in the fifth and had a chance to take the lead in the seventh as Brayden Martin laced a one-out triple to left. He was stranded there as Oxford reliever Vaiden Ellis retired the next two batters to end the threat.
Blockmon paced the Tigers offensively with a home run and single while Eli Russell added two singles. Mari Boyd added his third home run of the season with a solo shot to center to lead off the third.
Brock Ware delivered a RBI single in the third, and Michael Johnson and Aidan Williams also singled.
Tate Anderson went three innings while giving up five runs on eight hits and four strikeouts. Johnson took the loss with 3.1 innings of relief.