The Meridian Star
District 5 head coach Matt Boone watch from the dugout while a fast start led to a series of misfortunate events as District 8 took down District 5, 12-0, in four innings in the second round of the State Games of Mississippi's All-Star Baseball Tournament at Scaggs Field on Friday.
A leadoff single by second baseman Wes McDonniel followed by a walk of Carr McMorris put two runners on for District 5 in the top of the first. However, a soft line drive to third by Southeast Lauderdale's Mason Irby stayed in the air just long enough to freeze both runners before District 8 third baseman Taylor Brayley backhanded it on one hop, stepped on third and slung it towards second to start a 5-4-3 triple play.
“It was crazy,” Boone said. “You got first and second with no outs, and I'm trying not to bunt them at that point to see if we can get something going. It was just a freak play.”
From there, things would fall apart for District 5, as two errors led to three District 8 runs.
After allowing two runners in the first, District 8 starter Calder Mikell settled down on the mound, retiring the next six batters he faced en route to earning the win.
“He was electric,” Boone said of Mikell. “He had a fastball up around 91-92. He had some good stuff as well, he was just good.”
District 8 would then explode for six runs in the bottom of the second, rallying behind five hits including a two-run home run by Oak Grove's Taylor Brayley to break the game open at 9-0.
District 8 would get two more in the bottom of the third inning before second baseman Dylan Spiers knocked home the 12th run to induce the mercy rule in the bottom of the fourth.
“They can really swing it,” Boone said. “They have some guys committed to some big-time programs. They have some guys that can throw on the hill, and they have guys who can swing; so they are tough to beat.”
District 5 will now move to the loser's bracket, as they face District 2 today at 10:00 a.m. from Scaggs Field. The winner of the game will advance to play District 8 at 3 p.m.
“I just told them to refocus and regroup,” Boone said. “We have to win one in the morning, and we can't worry about the one in the afternoon. We are just trying to get one in the morning, and we still have a bunch of arms left.
“Hopefully this game will bring us back down to reality a little bit. Sometimes you win a game like we did the other day and you leave feeling pretty good about yourself, this kind of gives you a slap of reality.”