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Loyd Star wins in 11th

     Sophomore Caleb Yarborough’s strong pitching performance and Cori Crowe’s game-winning RBI single in the 11th inning helped the Loyd Star Hornets avoid elimination with a 2-1 victory over the Richton Rebels Monday night in Game Two of the Class 2A State baseball playoffs at Smith Field.

     “I cannot compliment enough on a job well done,” said Loyd Star coach Jared Britt. “Yarborough pitched a great game and Crowe coming through with a huge RBI single in the 11th to get the win.

     “Their pitcher (Landon Mayo)threw an excellent game,” continued Britt. “I am really looking forward to see what Game Three brings.”

     The Hornets (22-8) visit Richton to battle the Rebels (20-12) in the decisive Game Three today. Game time is set for 7 p.m.

     The winner moves on to play in the South State championship against the Taylorsville Tartars this weekend.

     In late Saturday action, the Rebels defeated Loyd Star 8-3 to win Game One.

 Loyd Star 2, Richton 1

     The Rebels drew blood first and grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the first inning.

     The Hornets rallied to tied the game at 1-all in the bottom of the sixth inning.

     In the seventh frame and extra innings, both teams threatened with big rallies but great defensive plays from both the Hornets and Rebels kept the game tied.

     In the bottom of the 11th inning, Loyd Star managed to fight off several good pitches and earn two walks with one out. Rightfielder Cori Crowe battled hard at the plate before getting the pitch he wanted and hit a single to left field, sending home Brett Calcote from second base with the game-wining RBI.

     Yarborough, a lefty, provided a solid performance on the mound for the Hornets in a pitching duel with 18 strikeouts, one walk and two intentional walks.

     Mayo also threw an excellent game for the Rebels as he absorbed the loss with 12 strikeouts and two walks.

     Crowe and Yarborough were the offensive leaders for Loyd Star with a pair of singles. Seth Farmer contributed a double. Hitting safely were Braden Smith and Brandon Canny.

     Shortstop Dylon Stringer directed  Richton’s offense with two singles. Blaine Walley, Shawn Burch, Nick Carpenter and Mayo hit safely.

     “This was a great defensive game,” said Richton coach Michael Banes. “Both pitchers threw an awesome game. We had our chances to get out with the win but mental mistakes cost us some runs. We must regroup and prepare for another tough battle tomorrow.”

Richton 8, Loyd Star 3

     Loyd Star came out strong and seized an 2-0 lead in the second inning, before Richton rallied to take the lead 3-2 in the bottom of the third inning.

     The Hornets answered the challenge and tied the game at 3-all in the fourth inning, but the Rebels bounced back  with a 5-run blast and held on for the win.

     Carpenter was the winning pitcher for Richton with four strikeouts and one walk. Stringer (2K, 0BB) pitched the seventh inning in relief.

     Canny suffered the setback as the starting pitcher for Loyd Star with four strikeouts and one walk. Crowe (5K, 0BB) saw action in relief.

     Walley sparked the Rebels offensive charge with a double and two singles. Coke Conway fueled the flames with two doubles. Stringer provided two singles.     Canny paced the Hornets at the plate with a double and a single. Hitting safely were Logan Smith, Calcote and Crowe.