A tight opener of the Biloxi-Brandon playoff series was decided on a hit-by-pitch.
Biloxi senior Nick Skaggs was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the sixth to give the Indians the lead for good at 3-2.
Biloxi junior right-hander Colten Keith retired three of the four batters he faced in the seventh to preserve the win for Skaggs, who started the game on the mound. Skaggs gave up one earned run on four hits in six innings, striking out three and walking three.
Skaggs also knocked in a pair of runs in the game with his other RBI coming on a sacrifice fly in the first inning.
Senior catcher Caleb Wood provided the only other run on a one-out double in the fifth.
Biloxi (28-3) will travel for Game 2 with first pitch set for 7 p.m. on Friday.
Pearl River Central 8, North Pike 2
Pearl River Central pitcher Austin Dean came within two outs of throwing a no-hitter Thursday night as the Blue Devils took Game 1 of the Class 5A playoff series in Carriere.
Dean (8-2) tossed a complete-game one-hitter, striking out five and walking four.
The Blue Devils jumped out to a 3-0 lead after two innings and put the game out of reach with five more runs in the fifth.
Senior catcher Hayden Dunhurst led the PRC lineup, finishing 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles.
PRC (22-10) travels to North Pike for Game 2 at 7 p.m. on Friday.
Resurrection 3, Stringer 2
Resurrection Catholic junior Elijah Watts tossed a complete game, striking out 11 batters and holding to Stringer to a pair of hits.
Stringer jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, but a solo homer by Hayden Cooksey in the second inning sparked a rally for the Eagles.
Watts also had a pair of doubles and scored the game’s winning run in the sixth inning.
RCS (23-5) travels to Stringer for a 6 p.m. Game 2 on Friday.
Sumrall 11, St. Stanislaus 1
It’s tough for an opposing pitcher to navigate through the first five batters in the Sumrall lineup. The room for error goes out the window when the bottom of the order is hitting the ball well, too.
Led by the six through nine hitters, a six-run second inning gave the Bobcats all the cushion they needed in a five-inning, 11-1 Game 1 win over St. Stanislaus Thursday. Game 2 of the 4A third-round series is set for 7 p.m. Friday at Larry Knight Field in Sumrall.
“The biggest thing I told our guys before the game was I don’t feel like we’ve played to our potential yet,” Sumrall coach Larry Knight said. “We’ve scored runs, but a lot of that had to do with what the other team has done. I told them tonight, ‘Guys, it just feels like one of those nights where we’re going to bust it loose,’ and sure enough, we did.”
By the time Sumrall built a 7-1 lead entering the fourth inning, the bottom four hitters have six of the team’s eight hits with four RBI and five runs. By the end of the game, the combination of Mason Story, Tanner Morgan, Seth Mitchell and Hayden Barrett had eight of the team’s 12 hits.
Story and Morgan each picked up two hits while Mitchell added three and Barrett had one. It was only the third time this season Mitchell and Barrett hit consecutively in the eighth and ninth spots of the lineup, according to Knight.
“Those guys have really been doing a good job for us,” Knight said.
Sumrall was primed to score in the first inning but came away with nothing. In the second, however, the Bobcats made up for it. Starting with a one-out walk for senior Billy Garrity, Story doubled to left field to plate the game’s first run.
Tanner Morgan followed Story with a walk, and Mitchell and Barrett had back-to-back RBI singles to center to give the Bobcats a 3-0 lead. With the bases loaded and two outs, Crawford drew a walk and Hunter Barrett was hit by a pitch to plate two more runs. A single by Garrity gave Sumrall a commanding 6-0 lead.
“I don’t know if anything unraveled, but they put a little pressure and we didn’t respond,” St. Stanislaus coach Mark Logan said. “That was sort of the bottom line.”
Sumrall put the 10-run rule into play with two more runs in the fifth. Dannis Jackson’s sacrifice fly to center made it 10-1, and pinch runner Liam Munn scored off an infield error to finish off Sumrall’s scoring.
“Once they got that lead, they just kept the pressure on,” Logan said. “That’s what good teams do.”
St. Stanislaus had some hard hit balls off Barrett, but most were right at Bobcat outfielders. The Rocks collected just three base hits and reached on a couple of Sumrall errors, but they couldn’t string together enough to make it interesting.
Two of St. Stanislaus’ hits came in the third inning, as Ethan McNeill’s sacrifice fly scored the Rockachaws’ lone run.
“I don’t know if we put (the hits) together at the right time,” Logan said. “We’d get people on and we got a couple of guys picked off, which sort of hurt us. Their pitcher through well. He mixed it up, he hit his spots and kept us off-balanced a little bit.”
Sophomore Kros Sivley and senior Halen Sanford are Knight’s Top 2 options to start Game 2 Friday, while Logan will go with one of his seniors.
“If we decide to go with Peyton (Sandrock), then he’ll be the guy,” Logan said. “If he can give us five or six then great. If not, we may have to go deep. There’s only a certain amount of guys who can throw against them and have a shot.”
West Jones 13, Picayune 1
The Mustangs rolled to a decisive win in Game 1 at Picayune and will now play the role of host in Game 2 at 7 p.m. on Friday.
Camal Petro of PineBeltSports.com contributed to this report.