Meridian Star


May 2, 2014

Newton County baseball gets Game 1 win vs. Pass Christian

DECATUR — DECATUR — Amidst a chaotic and difficult week, the Newton County High School baseball team managed to band together and topped Pass Christian High School, 4-3, in Class 4A second round MHSAA playoff action Thursday.

"We've been real blessed," Newton County coach Wyatt Tullos said. "We didn't really take a direct hit with the weather, but we had it coming really close to our school. It's fun what we do, but that kind of puts it in perspective."

The win gives the Cougars a 1-0 advantage in the best-of-three series.

"It's been an adventure to even get practice in this week," Tullos said. "They played tough. They fought and they've worked hard all year. This team has been a great team to coach because their mental approach has always been really great. They're a no-drama team."

NCHS (17-12) managed to jump out to a 2-0 advantage in the first inning. Peyton Cain smacked an RBI double to the left-centerfield gap and later trotted home following a throwing error by Pass catcher, John Moore, who was attempting to throw Cain out at third on a stolen base attempt.

"It feels good to help give a lift to my team," Cain. "It's been kind of though this past week. We've been off schedule, but we tried to keep our heads straight and stay focused as we get through it."

However, the Pirates (13-17) would take the lead in the third with three runs scored, highlighted by Sean Storey's two-out, two-run double to left to put Pass in front, 3-2.

"They're a very good baseball team," Tullos said. "(Pass Christian coach Marcus) Whittfield did a tremendous job preparing them. Give credit to them for playing a really great ball game."

Yet the Cougars answered back in the fourth, when Cain lined a two-out, game-tying RBI single to center.

"That was a big lick," Tullos said. "That was huge, being down, 3-2, and he comes through with a single up the middle."

The Cougars would regain the advantage in the fifth, when Walter Williams lifted a sacrifice fly to deep center.

"(Williams) came up with a huge sacrifice fly," Tullos said. "He was down in the count with two strikes, but managed to get a fly ball out there. That was a real big at bat for Walter, so I'm real proud of him for coming through in a clutch at bat."

Pitcher Jacob Edwards (5-4) tossed seven innings, striking out seven batters, including the last four batters he faced in earning the win.

"We've been through some tough times," Edwards said. "But it feels pretty good to come out here and grab a win in the playoffs ... It was pretty rough throughout the game. I felt I got better towards the end, but when you're at that last inning, you just have to fight through it.

Added Tullos, "He pitched tough, and that's what we've come to expect out of him."

Newton County travels to Pass today for Game of the series.

"We need to keep having great approaches at the plate," Tullos said. "We need to keep fighting. It's going to be a war. Those guys (Pass Christian) play really hard and played a great game tonight.

"This is what makes it fun, when you get playoff baseball like this ... Two good teams going at it with not a lot of trash talk. Just good hard-nosed playoff baseball."

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