BAY ST. LOUIS-- A six-run third inning enabled Newton County to beat Bay High 9-1 and sweep their Class 4A second-round state playoff series on Saturday.
The score was tied 1-1 after two innings, but the Cougars scored three runs in the third for a 4-1 lead. The Cougars capitalized on Bay High errors for a 7-1 lead.
The Tigers managed to get two runners on base in the fourth, but a double play ended their threat.
"We just kind of kept chipping away," said Cougars coach Wyatt Tullos. "The line drive double play was kind of a momentum changer. They hit a ball hard right before that to get a base hit. And they hit that ball hard and we were able to get that and double the guy off. Kind of changed the momentum there. Our pitcher was getting a little tired there, but I think it kind of gave him a boost right there. Our pitcher (Eli Harrison) did a good job all day. He threw strikes, and he did a good job with his breaking ball."
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The Tigers (15-10) got two runners on in the bottom of the fifth inning. Conner Ladner outran the throw to first on a deep shot to second base. Keishaun Pulllom came up next and outran a dinker down the first base line. The Tigers' next two batters flied out to end the inning. Bay High got no closer, ending coach Kevin Burdine's first year with the Tigers.
"Newton County is a very good team," Burdine said. "They're solid defensively. They've got some guys who can swing the bat. Our guy (Gage Kiser) pitched a good game. We just didn't do it defensively. We made some errors early in the game and gave them a lead. We're a team that we have to keep the game close to win it. I'm proud of what we've done. We've had a tremendous season. We've kind of turned the corner. We've got some work left to do. I'm proud of our seniors. I'm proud of our program."
Newton County, which took game one 5-1 on Friday, is now 27-5.