Loyd Star finishes undefeated

Published 5:11 pm Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Loyd Star Hornets accomplished something Tuesday night that is hard to do for any high school baseball program. They finished the regular season undefeated.

With their 13-1 victory over Franklin County Tuesday night on the road, the Hornets capped off the regular season with a 27-0 overall record and 15-0 record in district play.

Loyd Star will host Bay Springs in the first round of the 2A state playoffs tonight, looking to continue their amazing season with the end goal of a state title in sight.

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“It was a big accomplishment for us to go undefeated in the regular season,” Loyd Star head coach Jared Britt said. “Now we must put this in the past and prepare for a new season going into the playoffs.”

Despite the score being so one-sided, the victory didn’t come easy for the Hornets. Franklin County got on the board first with an RBI single in the first inning to give the Bulldogs the early 1-0 lead. Loyd Star wouldn’t tie the game until the top of the third at 1-1.

Loyd Star tacked on five runs in the top of the fifth and seven runs in the top of the seventh to pull away and take home the victory and the perfect season.

Freshman Tanner Watts moved to 6-0 on the season as a starter, going five innings and giving up one earned run on three hits, no walks and eight strikeouts.

Senior Parker Flowers and junior Cade Hodges combined to pitch the final two innings with no earned runs given up and four strikeouts.

“Tanner Watts pitched really well for us tonight and the bats heated up midway through the game to seal it in the end,” Britt said.

Sophomore James Beard led the way at the plate for Loyd Star, going 4-for-4 including a home run, a double and a team-high four RBIs. Hodges and Flowers also made an impact at the plate with two RBIs each. Senior Konner Allen, junior Tucker Watts and sophomore Dane Smith each had one RBI as well.

The Hornets exploded at the plate late in the game by totaling 15 hits for 13 runs in the game.

The Hornets have been the most complete team in the area this season with an explosive lineup and pitching depth to back it up.

Loyd Star will face tougher competition when the 2A state playoffs begin, but this team is built to succeed in the playoffs and they’ll be a hard out for any opponent they’ll face.

The pressure of completing a perfect season may be there, but look for Loyd Star to make a good run in the postseason.