Thursday, May 16, 2013
Patriots second in state
By BARRY BURLESON
Marshall Academy had a brief 1-0 lead over Central Private, La., in game one of the state championship series last week.
Then things changed dramatically.
The Patriots fell 6-1 in that game and 14-2 in game two at home and finished runners-up in Class AA for the second straight season.
“We just ran out of gas at the wrong time,” said coach Bart Jenkins, whose squad ended the year at 20-13. “It took so much effort for us to get there. We were extremely tired and we played tired. “There was no lack of effort on anyone’s part. It was just exhaustion after a long year.”
Aaron McAlexander launched a solo homer in the top of the first Tuesday in Louisiana. But the Rebels responded with two in the bottom of the first and four more in the second to complete the scoring for the night.
McAlexander pitched one and two-thirds innings, giving up three hits, six walks and six runs. The left-hander, who has signed with Northwest Mississippi Community College, completed his senior season on the mound at 10-2 (3-1 in the playoffs).
Sophomore Tucker Fant, another southpaw, tossed four and one-third scoreless innings in relief. He struck out three, walked none and gave up just two hits.
MA and Central Private had five hits each in the game.
McAlexander, in addition to the homer, had a single. Also getting a hit each were Vince Hoyt, who signed last week with Southwest Tennessee Community College, Von Watson and Fant.
The Rebels scored 10 runs off five hits and five MA errors in the top of the first inning and cruised to a 12-run win.
“We had some bad things happen to us down there (in game one),” Coach Jenkins said, “and we couldn’t recover in game two. It sort of snowballed.”
Matt Miller started game two on the mound and took the loss, his first in the postseason. He finished 3-1 in the playoffs and 4-3 on the season.
Chance Lykens entered late in the first inning, with two outs, and got the third out and then retired three straight Central Private batters in the top of the second. In the third, he gave up one run on two hits, plus MA made its sixth error of the game. Hoyt pitched the fourth inning, giving up two hits and three runs, and Fant retired three consecutive Rebel batters in the top of the fifth.
Devin McGreger led off the Patriots’ half of the second inning with a solo blast over the left-field fence.
MA’s other run came in the bottom of the third. B.W. Langston’s sacrifice fly scored Hoyt, who had walked.
Dakota Dailey had two singles for the Patriots. Getting a single each were McAlexander, Langston, Matt Rappa and Josh Mask.
“Central Private is a fine baseball team,” Coach Jenkins said. “They’re very, very good – with a lot of pitching depth.”
He said his Patriots can hold their heads high.
“The majority of people who follow this baseball team thought it was farfetched for us to be in this position (the state championship series),” he said.
“A lot of people counted us out, but we played baseball the right way. Our work ethic and the way we play the game got us in that position. It’s a testament to very good kids and a very good program.”
He said his three seniors (McAlexander, Hoyt and Rappa) will be greatly missed.
“They did a tremendous job of leadership - with their play on the field and their example,” Jenkins said.
News: (662) 252-4261 or email@example.com
Fax: (662) 252-3388
Questions, comments, corrections: firstname.lastname@example.org
The South Reporter
P.O. Box 278
Holly Springs, MS 38635
©2004, The South Reporter, All Rights Reserved.
No part of this site may be reproduced in any way without permission.
The South Reporter is a member of the Mississippi Press Association.
Site managed and maintained by
South Reporter webmasters Linda Jones, Kristian Jones
Web Site Design - The South Reporter
Back | Top of Page