Columbia Academy eliminates Brookhaven Academy baseball from MAIS playoffs

Published 3:00 pm Friday, May 5, 2023

After going to extra innings in the first game of their MAIS 5A playoff series with Columbia Academy on Tuesday, the Brookhaven Academy Cougars (18-14) saw the second game follow a similar script on Thursday at home.

The visiting CA Cougars from Marion County scored two runs in the top of the eighth inning to earn a 5-3 win and end the 2023 season for Brookhaven Academy.

The game was also the finale for BA head coach Caleb Utpon, who’s accepted a job next season as an assistant on the staff at MHSAA 6A school Germantown High in Madison County. Upton will be replaced by his assistant, former Brookhaven High head baseball coach Randy Spring.

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Brookhaven Academy went ahead 1-0 on Thursday in the bottom of the second inning at Williams-Gillis Ballpark.

Senior Judson Griffin singled to score his younger brother Avery and put the home team ahead.

That would be all the Cougars could get though as the inning ended with Columbia Academy (19-11) freshman pitcher Logan Buckley getting a strikeout  on an at-bat where Brookhaven had the bases loaded.

CA led 3-1 after five innings before Brookhaven Academy chipped away with one run in the sixth and a tying run in the bottom of the seventh.

It was again Judson Griffin, a Copiah-Lincoln CC baseball signee, who drove in a run in the sixth with his sacrifice fly that scored Samuel Evans.

With two outs in the bottom of the seventh and BA just an out away from having the game ended, senior Trevor Fortenberry hit a solo home run for the home team to send the game into an extra inning.

BA had runners at first and second when CA pitcher Jackson Speir got a lineout to end the game in the bottom of the eighth.

Senior pitcher Easton Boyte, another Co-Lin baseball signee, struck out eight and walked two in 7.1 innings of work on the mound for Brookhaven.

Buckley, a 6-foot-2, left-hander, struck out 13 and gave up four hits while walking four for Columbia.

Columbia Academy moves on to play Oak Forest Academy (20-9) in the MAIS 5A South State Championship Series. On the north side of the bracket, Simpson Academy (34-2) will meet Magnolia Heights (34-3) next week.