PEARL — DeSoto Central coach Mark Monaghan liked the chances, but in the end it came up short.
DeSoto Central pinch runner Avery Eddy was tagged out trying to steal home and George County survived a 5-4 thriller over the Jaguars in Game 1 of the MHSAA Class 6A State Championship series at Trustmark Park.
Game 2 is set for Thursday night at 7 p.m.
“One of those deals that the numbers were in our favor,” Monaghan said. “We had speed and the pitcher’s time to the plate was in our favor, but it wasn’t perfectly executed.”
But the game as a whole belonged to George County’s Cameron Cotten.
With the bases loaded, Cotten hit a grand slam in the bottom of the first to give George County a 4-0 lead.
With the game tied at four he would have a RBI single to right in the top of the fifth to give the Rebels a 5-4 lead.
“He has a torn labrum and at the beginning he was told he wasn’t going to play at all and he’s a designated hitter and has been clutch for us in the playoffs,” said George County coach Brandon Davis. “DeSoto Central hits the ball so well and tomorrow night our pitcher has to match what Logan did tonight.”
Mississippi State commit Logan Tanner (8-2) got the win on the mound for George County tossing six innings and giving up nine hits, four earned runs, walking three and striking out 12. Tanner was the catcher that tagged Eddy out to end the game at home plate.
“He just rared back when got the lead back and said we ain’t losing this one,” Davis said. “Proud of the guys of how they fought tonight.”
Alan Williams had two hits for George County (27-4).
Blaze Jordan, Kyle Booker and Hunter French all had two hits to lead DeSoto Central (27-9) offensively. The Jaguars would score two runs each in the first and third innings.
Cade Smith (8-4) took the loss on the mound for the Jaguars.
“We didn’t execute in the fifth or sixth innings when we had chances,” Monaghan said. “We have to go back out there tomorrow night and bounce back and try to force a Game 3 Saturday.”
Vancleave 1, New Hope 0
Bailee Hendon tossed a complete game four-hitter with eight strikeouts as the Bulldogs (28-7) edged past the Trojans in Game 1 of the Class 4A State Championship series.
Game 2 will be on Friday night at 8 p.m.
“I thought the guys played hard and Bailee did a great job of competing,” said Vancleave coach Daniel Best. “He was drained at the end, velocity was down, but he stepped up and defense played well behind him.”
The only run of the game came in the top of the second inning on a throwing error that allowed Vancleave’s Gavin Mckerchie to score.
Hendon, a Jones County Junior College signee, improved to 12-0 on the mound for Vancleave.
Ryan Burt (11-2) took the loss on the mound for New Hope (29-6).
St. Joe 7, East Union 6 (10 innings)
St. Joseph would score two runs in the top of the tenth inning on a RBI single by Charlie Lott and pinch runner Joshua Briscoe stole home to help get past the Urchins in Game 1 of the Class 2A State Championship series.
Game 2 will be on Friday afternoon at 4 p.m.
“We persevered and just found a way to win,” said St. Joe coach Gerard McCall. “We got a long way to go. East Union come after us on Friday, so we better be ready.”
With the score 5-2 and down to their final three outs, East Union’s Joel Wilkinson would hit a three-run inside-the-park home run to tie the game at five with no outs in the bottom of the seventh.
Steven Wolf had three hits to lead St. Joe. Grayson Guillory, Charlie Lott and Josh Bailey all two hits for the Bruins (27-10).
Lott got the win on the mound for the Bruins. Bailey made a diving play on a ground out to end the game.
“Can’t say enough about Josh who played his tail off today,” McCall said. “But we got to come ready Friday.”
Ethan Hitt and Haygen Richey had two hits each to lead East Union (28-7).