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Taylorsville takes care of Loyd Star in opener

TAYLORSVILLE – Pitching problems confronted the Loyd Star Hornets Thursday night and they suffered the consequences in Game 1 of the MHSAA Class 2A South State championship series. Four pitchers gave up 11 hits and 5 bases on balls as Taylorsville’s Tartars marched to an 11-3 victory.

Game 2 is set for Saturday night as Loyd Star (23-9) hosts the Tartars (27-4) on Smith Field, starting at 7. If Game 3 is required to determine a champion, it will be played Monday at Taylorsville.

East Union is playing Baldwyn in the North State finals.

“My pitchers are struggling right now,” said Loyd Star coach Jared Britt. “I know they are tired. We are running on fumes but that’s all part of it.”

Branden Canny started on the mound for Loyd Star and lasted one-third inning. Fightng control problems, he walked 2 batters, hit 1 batter and gave up 3 hits.

Cori Crowe (0K 1BB), who pitched Tuesday night’s 6-1 victory at Richton, replaced Canny. He gave up 5 hits and 5 runs.

Josh Hodges (1K, 1BB) replaced Crowe in the third . He allowed 5 hits and 3 runs. Braden Smith (0K, 1BB) allowed 1 hit in the sixth.

LSU-Eunice signee Sam Walley pitched the victory. In 5 innings, Walley struck out 4 batters, walked 2 and allowed 3 runs on 4 hits.

Michael Westbrook (1K, 1BB) replaced Walley in the sixth.

Walley hit a 2-run homer in the second. Austin Moffett hit solo homer in the same frame.

Loyd Star got an RBI single from Braden Smith in the second inning.

In the first, 2 hit batsmen, an error and Brett Calcote’s based-loaded walk scored the game’s first run. Canny’s grounder scored the second run,

Britt said Caleb Yarborough would start Saturday night’s game. The sophomore southpaw struck out 18 batters in Monday night’s playoff win over Richton.

“Hopefully, we can make some noise Saturday night,” Britt added. “We’ve been down one game in the last two series.”

Britt said Taylorsville is a talented team.

“Taylorsville is a pretty solid ballclub,” said Britt. “They have some live arms and they hit the ball well.”

Coach Dusty Hillman’s Tartars took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the first. They scored 3 runs in the second and 3 more in the third, building a 9-3 lead.

Junior second baseman Carr McMorris had 3 hits for the Tartars. Walley and Moffett both homered and doubled.