Pass Christian sent Southern Miss commit Peyton Lacy to the mound Thursday night against Northeast Jones in Game 1 of the Class 4A playoffs.
The Tigers made Lacy's outing short-lived, scoring seven runs on seven hits in the bottom of the second inning, adding solo runs in the third, four, and fifth for a mercy-rule victory 10-0 and a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.
"It was good to see us breakthrough [in the second inning] and get some big hits," said NEJ head coach Jeremy Parker.
Pass Christian threatened to score with runners in scoring position in the second, third, and fifth innings, but a two-out strikeout with the bases loaded by starting southpaw Dalton Tanner, several double plays by the Tigers' defense, and a groundout forced by reliever Ty Herrington ended each threat.
"We made a couple of bad plays on defense late in the game," said Parker, "but early in the game, we had a few double plays that helped us out.
Tanner exited after three full innings due to muscle soreness, allowing two hits and striking out three Pass Christian batters.
"Dalton is normally really sharp for us," said Parker. "But tonight, he wasn't as crisp and struggled to finish his pitches. That let us know that something was wrong early on.
"He later told us that he was having some soreness in his muscles, and so we decided to pull him as a precautionary measure. He threw three scoreless innings, though, despite [the soreness]."
Ty Herrington closed out the final two top frames, allowing just one hit.
“Ty Herrington came in and pitched the remaining two innings and got the save for us,” said Parker. “He threw strikes and did what we needed him to do.”
Jesse Herron, Eli Collins, and Charlee Strickland led NEJ at the plate with two hits apiece.
Carson Ellis led the team in RBI with three — a two-run single to centerfield in the second inning and a sacrifice fly in the third.
"Carson Ellis came through for us with a big hit," said Parker. "And several other guys did so as well.
NEJ (24-3) travels to Pass Christian Friday night for Game 2 of the series. The first pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.
“This was the first playoff experience for most of our guys since we didn’t get to finish our year last season,” said Parker. “So, it was good to get that out of the way. Friday night will be another first for some of them as we go on the road. It’s always difficult to go on the road and get a playoff win. Friday night won’t be any different.
"We 10-run ruled Pass Christian here a few years ago and went down there and got the same done to us. We know that it could just as easily swing that way against us, too, so we'll go down there prepared and hopefully wrap up the series tomorrow."