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Loyd Star advances to South State

Senior Parker Flowers was the star of the game both at the plate and on the mound in Loyd Star’s series-clinching 12-2 victory over Richton Friday night.

Flowers had three home runs and a single at the plate to cap off an impressive offensive night, which the Hornets totaled 12 runs on 11 hits. Flowers also pitched the first five innings, giving up two earned runs on two hits, three walks and striking out 11 batters.

Flowers finished finished the game going 4-for-4 from the plate, including the three home runs, a single and eight RBIs on the night.

The win advances the Hornets to the South State title series, where they’ll face Saint Joseph Catholic, starting Thursday night at Loyd Star High School.

“Parker had a monster game for us both on the mound and at the plate,” Loyd Star head coach Jared Britt said. “Our bats got hot and it helped us put some runs up for Parker to settle in on the mound. We stared off a little shaky defensively early, but we rebounded and played solid defense behind our pitchers.”

The three home runs for Flowers against Richton Friday night was the most the senior has hit in a game in his career.

Freshman Tanner Watts pitched the sixth and seventh innings for Loyd Star, giving up no runs on no hits, no walks and five strikeouts.

Juniors Tucker Watts and Dylan Smith each had two single to back up the hitting performance of Flowers. Junior Cade Hodges had a double, sophomore James Beard had a single and senior Cole Smith had a single as well.

Senior Jacob Dean got the start for Richton and pitched five innings, giving up 10 runs (three earned) on nine hits, no walks and striking out five batters. Senior Tyler Graham came on in relief of Dean and pitched the final two innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits, one walk and striking out two.

Senior Noah Mills led Richton at the plate going 1-for-4 with a two-run RBI double in the bottom of the fifth.

Loyd Star will host Saint Joseph Catholic Thursday night. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.

The series against St. Joseph Catholic will be the toughest challenge yet for the Hornets. The Bruins went an impressive 27-4 over the season, including the playoffs. The Bruins are the team to put Enterprise out of the playoffs, winning game one 8-0 and game two by a score of 5-4.