Missed opportunities was the theme for Vancleave, who fell to Richland 3-2 in Game 2 of the Class 4A baseball playoffs Saturday.
Richland (21-8) swept the best-of-3 series. They will face West Lauderdale in the second round next week.
“We made a mistake on the bases, got thrown out twice and couldn’t get the big hit,” Vancleave coach Daniel Threadgill said.
The Bulldogs (17-10) left runners at second and third in the top of the first and left the bases loaded in the fifth.
Justin Stokes had an RBI fielder’s choice in the third. Bailee Hendon added an RBI single to center to give Vancleave a 2-1 lead in the fifth.
“I’m proud of our guys for fighting. We had a good season,” Threadgill said. “We had to scratch and claw all season. Had to scratch and claw to get out of this one and fell short.”
Colton Hipp had three hits to lead the Bulldogs. Trevor Davis and Hendon added two hits for Vancleave. Hayden Robb (5-1) took the loss for Vancleave.
Mississippi State commit Brandon Smith had two hits to lead Richland. Luke Banta (3-2) got the win for the Rangers.
Brady Windham’s two-run triple in the third gave Richland a 2-1 lead. Dalton Massingill scored on a wild pitch, giving the Rangers a 3-2 lead in the fifth.
“Our biggest deal all season has been able to comeback and win games,” Richland coach Matt Quick vsaid. “That speaks a lot of our guys. Very fortunate to get out of here with a win and move on to round two.
“Their pitcher kept us off balanced a lot and I tip my cap to him.”