HATTIESBURG - In a battle of aces, Oak Grove's Drew Boyd stole the show Friday night, helping his team to a 7-1 victory over Ocean Springs in game one of a best-of-three series.
Ocean Springs will try to force a rubber match, as the teams play game two Saturday at 7 p.m. in Ocean Springs.
Boyd pitched a complete game two-hitter with 15 strikeouts, and didn't allow a walk in the process.
"I was on tonight, but (catcher) Hayes (Maples) behind the plate did a great job blocking strike-three's," Boyd said. "The defense was perfect tonight. It was a great job by the whole team.
Ocean Springs' Blake Sears broke up Boyd's bid for a no-hitter in the fifth inning, smashing a solo home run to left field. At the time, the homer cut the Oak Grove lead to 4-1.
"I didn't change anything up," Boyd said. "I was behind in the count, and I threw a curveball and left it there for him. He made a great hit."
Ocean Springs was held to two hits.
"(Boyd) was spotting everything," Oak Grove Chris McCardle said. "He's thrown like that most of the time, but it was one of those games where everything was working for him."
McCardle said it was Boyd's best performance of the season.
Boyd's counterpart, Drew Windham, allowed a couple of early runs, but for the most part kept his team in the game. He pitched five innings, allowing six runs - all earned - on eight hits while striking out three and walking three.
It all came down to something the Warriors haven't done in recent weeks - recording hits with runners in scoring position. Oak Grove scored every run with two outs, and its first four runs started with nobody on base and two outs.
"He's tough," McCarle said. "He was 89, 91(miles per hour) in the first couple of innings. I'm proud we got some hits off a guy like that. Tomorrow is a whole new day, so we have to enjoy this one tonight, and wake up tomorrow and go at it again."