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BA escapes Hillcrest in nine

JACKSON – A pair of top ranked teams in the MississippiAssociation of Independent Schools Class AA met Thursday night in anon-district affair, at Cougar Field in South Jackson. TheBrookhaven Academy Cougars exploded for five runs in the top of theninth holding on for a 7-4 extra inning win over the homestandingHillcrest Christian Cougars.

BA closes the regular tonight, hosting Adams County ChristianSchool on Senior Night. A single varsity game begins at 6p.m.

Brookhaven Academy (20-5) and Hillcrest Christian (16-8) came intothe game as two of the top Academy AA teams in the state. Pitchingplayed a key role in the early innings as neither team couldgenerate any offense.

BA opened the scoring in the top of the second, taking a 1-0 lead.Hunter McCullough singled. Tyler Parvin reached base as a pitch hithim. Hunter Franklin walked to load the bases. An RBI single byWill Lucas plated McCullough.

Hillcrest responded with 2 runs in the bottom of the inning. JamesAdams’ 2-RBI base hit scored Remarcus Stallin and Lee Ogletree.Stallin had reached on a fielder’s choice, while Ogletree drew awalk.

BA deadlocked the game at 2-all in the fourth. With 2 outs, WillGatlin doubled. Tripp Jolly’s 2-bagger scored Gatlin. The LincolnCounty-based Cougars registered 8 doubles in the game for headcoach Casey Edwards.

“We did the things that we needed to do against a quality ballclubtonight,” Coach Edwards commented.

Pitching took control of the game for the next 4-plus innings,despite each team going to its respective bullpens.

BA cranked out 3 more doubles in the ninth, as Edwards would getrun support from Bubba Keene, Gatlin, Jolly, Parvin andFranklin.

Hillcrest Christian got a pair of runs from USM signee Josh Rogersand Adams, before an out was recorded. McCullough got defensivehelp from his teammates to end the Hillcrest threat with thepotential game-tying run at the plate.

“Our defense did a great job for us tonight,” said Edwards. “Thisgame will help us get ready for the playoffs next week.” BA’splayoff opposition for Tuesday has yet to be determined. McCullough(6-1) authored the win in relief of Parvin. He allowed 2 earnedruns on 4 hits, with 1 walk and 2 strikeouts.

Thomas Woodruf (1-2) suffered the loss for Hillcrest in relief ofHinds CC signee Caleb Baucum; giving up 5 earned runs on 5 hits,allowing a walk and 1 strikeout.

Gatlin led BA with 3 doubles. Keene had 2 doubles and a single.Jolly doubled twice. McCullough and Phillip each had a pair ofsingles. Franklin doubled. Dan Coleman and Parvin reached basesafely.

Hillcrest got a single and a double each from Adams and Baucum.Woodruf singled twice.