RIDGELAND - For St. Andrew's, what could go right went right. St. Patrick couldn't catch a break.
Behind some timely hitting and the pitching of Stephen Atkins, St. Andrew's raced past St. Patrick 8-2 in a decisive game three of the Class 3A South State semifinals at Barkett-Cummings Field on Monday night.
The Saints (25-9) will face Seminary for the 3A South State Championship. St. Andrew's lost to Sumrall in the semifinals last year.
"We were able to do what we needed to do at times at the plate and get timely hits," St. Andrew's coach Mark Fanning said. "St. Patrick has a good team and we had to jump on them quick."
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Chris Boyle hit a three-run home run to left center to give the Saints a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. He had two hits to lead St. Andrew's offensively.
Stephen Atkins (10-1), a Mississippi College commit, got the win on the mound for the Saints, tossing six innings. He gave up four hits, two earned runs and struck out nine.
"He is for sure a next level pitcher," said St. Patrick coach Eddie Burger. "The way he could have command of his pitches and get out of jams all night showed why he is."
St. Patrick got the lead off man on in every inning except the sixth and seventh. The Irish left eight men on base.
"We gave them too many chances and we didn't take advantage of out opportunities," Burger said. "Tonight just wasn't our night."
Aaron Broadus (2-3) got the loss on the mound for St. Patrick, tossing three and 1/3 innings. He gave up three hits, six earned runs, walked 10 and had no strikeouts.
Trace Palazzo had two hits to lead the Irish (17-9). St. Patrick scored two runs in the second inning on a wild pitch and on a bases loaded walk by Brennan Gioe.
With the third round being the farthest St. Patrick has been in the baseball playoffs, the future is bright.
"When I started here the seniors were freshmen and I saw them grow up and they worked hard to get here," Burger said. "I like what we got coming back and we will be ready next year."