Neshoba Central baseball

Members of the Neshoba Central baseball team celebrate after beating Saltillo 3-2 Monday, May 16, 2022, in Game 3 of the MHSAA Class 5A state semifinal series in Philadelphia. The win earned the Rockets a Class 5A state title series berth.

A suicide squeeze by Neshoba Central’s Rhett Stovall in the bottom of the seventh scored Will Williams from third, and the Rockets walked off against Saltillo 3-2 in the decisive Game 3 of the MHSAA Class 5A state semifinal series Monday in Philadelphia.

The two teams were tied 2-2 going into the bottom of the seventh before Stovall came to the plate as a pinch hitter and laid down a bunt that allowed Williams to make it home and send the Rockets to the MHSAA Class 5A state title series.

Reid Hall and RB Hardin both finished 2-for-3 for Neshoba Central, and Pepper Agent drove in a run for the Rockets. Will Garner got the start for Neshoba Central, pitching 5 2/3 innings and giving up two runs on six hits while striking out five. Azaynlon Hickman pitched 1/3 of an inning and got a strikeout, and Hall pitched a scoreless top of the seventh with two strikeouts.

Neshoba Central (29-5) will face the winner of Vancleave and East Central’s Game 3, which takes place Tuesday night, in the Class 5A state championship round. Game 1 is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 24, at Trustmark Park in Pearl. Game 2 is scheduled for Thursday, May 26, at Trustmark. Game 3, if necessary, will be played Saturday, May 28.

Clarkdale T.J. Gordon

Clarkdale's T.J. Gordon pitches in relief for the Bulldogs against Seminary in Game 3 of the MHSAA Class 3A state semifinal round Monday, May 16, 2022, at Clarkdale.

SEMINARY 9, CLARKDALE 5

An eight-run top of the sixth inning for Seminary was the difference as Clarkdale dropped the decisive Game 3 of the MHSAA Class 3A state semifinal round Monday at Clarkdale.

The home Bulldogs led 3-0 going into the sixth, but a pair of home runs by Seminary in the sixth helped it build an 8-3 cushion, and the visiting Bulldogs answered Clarkdale’s two-run bottom of the sixth by scoring an addition run in the seventh inning.

Starter Walker Swearingen suffered the loss on the mound, pitching 5 2/3 innings and giving up seven runs — none earned — on seven hits while striking out seven. Houston Wedgeworth relieved Swearingen and gave up a solo home run, then freshman T.J. Gordon pitched the final 1 1/3 innings, surrendering one run on one hit while striking out four.

Cal Culpepper finished 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored for the home Bulldogs, and Parker Webb doubled and drove in a run. Gordon went 3-for-4 at the plate with an RBI, and Wedgeworth also drove in a run. Swearingen was 2-for-4.

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