Cougars run rule Cathedral to open playoffs

Published 9:01 pm Tuesday, April 23, 2024

BROOKHAVEN — Cathedral may have jumped out to an early 3-0 lead but it was Brookhaven Academy who had the last laugh in a 13-3 win in five innings to open the MAIS 5A baseball playoffs Tuesday. Senior Avery Griffin knocked in two of those runs on three hits and scored three times himself. 

BA as a team had 14 hits and earned six walks. Natchez on the other hand had five hits and committed an error on defense. Griffin led the Cougars in hits Tuesday night. 

“I was seeing the ball really well. I was just seeing it really good tonight,” Griffin said. “We knew their pitching couldn’t overpower us. We were ready to hop on them early.”

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Brookhaven Academy wasted no time taking the lead back from Cathedral. A three-run second inning was enough to propel the Cougars into the lead and they never looked back. 

Cathedral managed to hold BA to 0 runs in the third inning but could not score runs in the innings following the first inning. Brookhaven Academy busted open the game with a seven run fourth inning. 

Griffin singled into center field to score a run in that fourth inning. Matt Newman drew a walk to make it 6-3 and Tucker Tarver singled to left to score two runs. A walk scored the ninth run of the game for BA but they were not done yet. A single by Carter Case to the pitcher scored another run followed by a walk scoring the 11th run of the game and seventh run of the inning. 

“Once we put up that big inning that is when I knew it was going to be a good game,” Griffin said. 

Brookhaven Academy issued two walks in the top of the fifth inning but quickly erased the runners with solid defense and a double play to end the inning. The Cougars extended their lead on a sacrifice fly by Liam Magee to center field. A single by Sam Stevens ended the game 13-3 with the run rule. 

Caleb Authement earned the win for Brookhaven Academy throwing five innings of work, he struck out two batters, issued four walks and gave up five hits. Authement found the strike zone 46 times out of 88 pitches and let his defense work behind him. 

Brookhaven Academy will play at Cathedral Friday and could win the series in game two. If the Cougars lose the second game, they will have to play a game three. 

“It is going to be tough playing there but I think if we can get on the mound and pitch well we will be fine. We need to do the routine stuff too,” Griffin said. “We had been struggling on the routine plays but we are starting to clean it up and play better.” 

Griffin started his baseball career playing T-ball. He is getting closer and closer to graduation. The young man said he has always had a love for baseball and enjoyed it a bunch. His plan after high school is to go to Co-Lin and play baseball while majoring in business. 

Head coach Randy Spring has his team looking well polished to start the MAIS playoffs. He is in his first year leading the program at Brookhaven Academy. 

Griffin said the program has had a few changes since Spring took over. He added fellow senior teammate Samuel Evans to step up this season. 

“He has come in and done a good job. We have had a good time this year,” Griffin said. “Evans has stepped up a lot. He has been very good for us in the middle infield and is a big time leader.”