High School Sports

Jordan Harris tosses gem as No. 4 Harrison Central edges No. 2 Ocean Springs

Harrison Central pitcher Jordan Harris
Harrison Central pitcher Jordan Harris

OCEAN SPRINGS - Jordan Harris continued Ocean Springs' hitting woes, allowing just two hits and three baserunners in leading Harrison Central's baseball team to a 1-0 win over the Greyhounds on Tuesday.

"I knew they were going to be tough," Harris said of Ocean Springs. "But my teammates played a good game behind me and we played great on defense."

In getting the win, Harris out-pitched Drew Windham, who took a tough complete-game loss, giving up four hits, walking one and striking out nine batters.

"We didn't hit the ball well tonight," Harrison Central coach Pat Olmi said, "but I thought we played good defense and I thought Harris was outstanding on the mound. Jordan pitched his tail off."

Ocean Springs Brian Rea noted his team had 10 fly ball outs in the game.

"We haven't had much offense lately," he said. "We are continuing to pop the ball in the air. We are trying to find ourselves offensively right now."

Rea said part of the Greyhounds' struggle was Harris' pitching.

"He pitched a really good game," he said. "You can't get much going offensively when you only have three baserunners."

The Rebels (7-2) got their lone run in the bottom of the third with the lower third of their order. Sophomore Brendan Hardy singled to right to start the inning and advanced to second on a balk. Fellow sophomore D'Artagnan Hawthorne then lined a long fly ball into the left-center ally to score Hardy.

Windham would allow only one more Harrison Central baserunner -- a fourth-inning single by Tramone McNeal -- but Harris would make the single run stand for the win.

"I thought he was outstanding on the mound," Olmi said of Windham. "We were able to scratch out a run and made it hold out."

Ocean Springs (7-3), though, had a great opportunity to score in the bottom of the fifth. James Noblin started the inning with a solid single between third base and shortstop. One out later, Windham stroked a deep fly to the fence in center. The ball was dropped by the centerfielder, putting runners on second and third with only one out.

Olmi said he wasn't worried with Harris on the mound.

"I thought he would pick the team up," he said.

With two runners in scoring position, Harris said there was only a slight increase in anxiety, but he relied on the defense behind him. Harris induced a weak fly ball to first for the second out before striking out the next batter.

"The second out gave me a lot of confidence," Harris said, now only having to get the third out to preserve the 1-0 lead. "The strikeout felt really good. Strikeouts are sometimes overrated, but when you can get three strikes in that situation, it feels really good."

Ocean Springs would not get another baserunner as Harris retired the last eight batters of the game.

Windham struck out four batters and did not walk anyone for the Greyhounds.

Dillon Morgan singled in the second for Harrison Central's first hit.

Cooper Brune led off the Ocean Springs' fourth with a double. However, with one out, Brad Wall bounced to Rebels third baseman Logan Virgilio, who misplayed the ball. Seeing Virgilio misplay the ball, Brune tried to advance to third only to have Virgilio recover and throw to shortstop Ian Colon, who was covering at third, for the innings' second out. Harris would get out of the inning by inducing a fly ball to first for the third out.