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Wesson hosts Richton in 2A playoffs

WESSON — The Wesson Cobras host the defending Class 2A statechamp Richton Rebels tonight in the first game of the best-of-threeseries in the South State baseball semifinals. The second game ofthe series will be played at 6, Saturday night at Richton. Ifnecessary, a third game will be played Monday.

Wesson (19-8) eliminated Clarkdale Monday and Richton (20-8) putaway Loyd Star last Friday in the second round of the statetournament.

The Cobras are coached by Hugh Knight. Brandon Davis coaches theRebels.

Knight has studied several scouting reports on Richton andtalked about Wesson’s opponent Friday night.

“Richton has a good ball club,” said Knight. “They played LoydStar last week and beat them in two (games). They have a goodpitching staff.

“They have one guy that throws in the low 90s with a goodslider,” continued Knight. “The No. 2 guy throws in 80s with a goodcurveball.”

Knight said the Rebels are very capable to scoring runs whenthey need to.

“Richton is a good-hitting ball club,” explained Knight. “Their1-5 hitters are real solid. They’re a more than average hittingclub. They are very fundamentally sound.”

Knight says that being state champions gives the Rebels an edgefor having been in that situation before.

“This is not nothing new to them,” said Knight. “It’s kind ofnew to us. Our kids are excited.”

Jonathan Grace, the only senior on the Wesson team, leads at theplate with 14 home runs. On the mound, Grace, a Co-Lin signee, is8-4 on the season.

“We have a lot of kids that can step up,” stated Knight. “Our5-8 hitters hit 3 home runs in the last ball game. We are pleasedwith everybody’s effort.”

Against Clarkdale, Grace, Matt P. Smith, Brandon Allen and AllenStegall homered in Monday’s game.

Knight and the Cobras hope to keep their momentum high. “We tryto keep doing what we have been doing.”

Knight said the Cobras are peaking at the right time. “We havegotten hot at the right time. We are playing good solid baseball.We’ve got good pitching on the mound, timely hits and are playingdefense. That’s the three ingredients to success.”

Knight said his team realizes that playing the state championsis going to be a challenge for his Cobras. “Hopefully, we canaccept that challenge,” added Knight. Everybody (in the playoffs)is good. You have to perform and play your best. You can’t rest onwhat you did.”