Southeast Lauderdale High School and West Marion High School have split the first two games of the best-of-three series in the second round of the Class 3A MHSAA playoffs.
Southeast took Game 1, 3-2, but the Trojans rebounded to take the second game, 4-0.
Yet the two squads will have had at least three days off in between Game‘s 2 and Game 3.
After West Marion’s win on Saturday, a scheduled off-day ensued Sunday. The finale wasn’t played Monday due to Southeast Lauderdale holding it’s graduating ceremonies, and a storm system that moved through the area Tuesday postponed Game 3 until 7 p.m. today.
“We’ve dealt with a lot of distractions the past couple of days, with our seniors and our school in general,” Southeast Lauderdale coach Shay Cooper said. “The school has had a lot going on, and now that it is all past us, hopefully we can refocus.”
The first two contests have been dominated by stellar pitching performances from both sides.
“Both teams have been able to throw a lot of strikes and that’s been the key.” Cooper said.
Additionally, the defense behind West Marion’s pitching staff has proven mightily effective in the series.
“West Marion has a very good defensive team,” Cooper said. “They don’t give away runs. That has heavily played into it.”
And while the rain could serve as a problem for some, Cooper is seeking to utilize the extra days provided as best he can in an effort to best manage his pitching staff.
“We’re still kind of playing with (who will pitch Game 3),” Cooper said. “Nathan Ross pitched Game 1, and so that would give him five days off in between games, so if he got the ball, he’d be in good shape.”
Yet the extra days could prove as a detriment if the Tigers were to advance into the South State finals.
“It will help us this round,” Cooper said. “But if we were to advance, it could impact us negatively in the next. We’re going to have to have several arms come through for us before it is all over if we really want to make a run at (the state title).
“You don’t ever know how (the days off) is going to impact you.”
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