Baseball playoffs roundup: Enterprise lone local MHSAA team to advance

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, May 1, 2024

The first round of the MHSAA 5A playoffs and the second round of the 2A and 3A brackets were not kind to local area high school baseball programs as the 1A Enterprise Yellow Jackets were the only public-school program from the area to advance over the weekend.

Yellow Jackets set to face Taylorsville in 1A quarters

After getting two close wins over French Camp Academy in the opening round of the 1A playoffs, Enterprise (19-10) had little trouble last week with the Simmons Blue Devils in the second round, winning 14-0 and 20-0 to sweep the series. 

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Next up is a quarterfinal pairing with Taylorsville High (18-10). Resurrection Catholic (23-4) and Ethel (22-9) will meet in the other quarterfinal matchup on the south side of the 1A bracket. Taylorsville moved past the second by sweeping Nanih Waiya, 8-1 and 10-6. The Tartars played a loaded schedule that includes wins over 2A quarterfinalist Pisgah (5-4) and 7A Oak Grove (7-4). Taylorsville has a young squad, led by eighth-grader Terry Barnes who’s got a team-high 32 hits this season. The next three top hitters on the Tartar roster are all sophomores. Junior Ford Mat-thews leads the team in innings pitched with 41.

Enterprise has the pitching staff to compete with any team remaining in the 1A bracket, led by the sophomore trio of Kelly Burgess, Rhyder Martin, and Cooper Jordan. 

Burgess struck out nine in a 3-2 win over French Camp in the first round threw a four-inning per-fect game with 11 strike outs in the 14-0 victory over Simmons last week. Martin struck out nine in a 4-1 win over French Camp and Jordan had eight strike outs in three innings to help put the Jack-ets past Simmons 20-0.

Providing much of the power in the Enterprise lineup is designated hitter Prewitt “Big Rig” Falvey. A junior, Falvey has seven home runs on the season and is batting .385 at the plate for the Yellow Jackets. Catcher Tucker Vining bats ahead of Falvey in the order and outfielder Hagan Floyd bats be-hind him in the four-hole.

It’s the second-straight year for second-year Enterprise head coach Austin Hood to get his team to the quarterfinals of the 1A bracket. Last season the Jackets beat French Camp Academy in the first round, Salem in the second round and then lost two close games to the eventual state champions from Resurrection Catholic.

EAC and Taylorsville played in the same region last season and the teams split their two meetings. The schools also met in the 2019 postseason when both were 2A programs. Taylorsville won that series 2-1 before reaching the state finals. 

Taylorville will host the opening game of the series on Thursday at 7 p.m. in Smith County. The second game of the matchup will be played at Enterprise on Saturday at 7 p.m. If a third game is needed, it will be played at Taylorsville on Monday at 7 p.m.

Panthers swept by Stone County in 5A bracket

The Stone High Tomcats (16-12) held Brookhaven High (15-11-) to just three hits on Saturday to sweep the 5A opening round matchup between the schools with a 12-1 win on Moyer Field. The Tomcats had previously won the opener 8-3 in Wiggins on Friday.

BHS finished third in Region 3-5A behind South Jones (25-5) and Florence (17-14) and ahead of North Pike and Natchez.

South Jones easily swept Gautier in the first round of the playoffs and will next face Stone High. Florence was swept in their series by East Central (16-11). North Pike (14-15) also had their sea-son ended this weekend Vancleave (23-6) in the first round of the 5A bracket. Vancleave and East Central will meet in the other 5A quarterfinal opposite the South Jones, Stone High series.

Austin Rylee, Luke Simmons, Zack McGehee were the only Panthers to hit safely for BHS on Saturday in game two. 

Stone High starting pitcher Connor Tice struck out 12, walked five and gave up one earned run in six innings. 

Seniors on the roster this season for BHS head coach Matt White include McGehee, Rylee (Jones College signee), and Elijah Calcote (Southwest Mississippi signee).

Loyd Star, Bogue Chitto bow out in 2A second round

Loyd Star and Bogue Chitto finished one and two in the Region 7-2A race, but both teams saw their season ended in the second round of the 2A playoffs with losses to Pisgah and St. Andrew’s Episcopal, respectively. 

Loyd Star (22-8) lost the opener of their series 18-2 on Friday at home. On Saturday in Rankin County, Pisgah (25-7) scored five runs in the sixth inning to comeback after Loyd Star had built a 6-3 lead.

The Hornets managed only four hits on Saturday as senior designated hitter Jaden Lea had two singles, senior outfielder Caleb Smith had one single, and junior outfielder Eli Thornton safely hit a single as well.

Loyd Star coach Jared Britt will lose a big senior class to graduation that includes Lea, Smith, in-fielder Conner Cunningham, first baseman Colby Terrell, outfielder Caden White, infielder Nathan Mills, infielder Caden Yarborough, outfielder Brandon Burt, and outfielder Chace Varnado.

Pisgah moves on to face Clarkdale (16-10) in one of the two 2A quarterfinal games on the south section of the bracket. St. Andrew’s faces Lake High (21-7) in the other south quarterfinal.

The St. Andrew’s Saints (26-5) from Ridgeland finished off their second-round pairing with Bogue Chitto (17-14) on Saturday via a 7-1 win in Lincoln County.

The teams had played a tight game the night before at SAE. That one was won by the Saints in the bottom of the seventh when they scored two runs for a walk-off, 2-1 win.

On Saturday, the Saints jumped out to a 3-0 lead after one inning and a 7-0 advantage after two in-nings.

Easton Sartin, Tucker Kyzar, Tripp McCaffrey and Noah Magee all hit safely on Saturday in the win. Magee finished with two hits, one being a triple. Kyzar produced the lone run of the game with a solo home run in the sixth and McCaffrey hit a double as well.

The series finale was the last game for head coach Gareth Sartin at the helm of Bogue Chitto base-ball. The longtime head football coach at BC took over the baseball program in 2019, getting to coach both of his sons Felder and Easton on the baseball diamond as well as the football field dur-ing their careers with the Bobcats. 

Next year, former Bogue Chitto football and baseball standout Seth Avants will take over the base-ball program at the school as head coach. 

Seniors soon to graduate on the Bogue Chitto roster include Easton Sartin, Blake Smithers, Jax Leggett, Noah Gatlin, Austin Moak, and Myles Foil (Southwest Mississippi signee).

Wesson bested by Seminary in 3A playoffs

The Seminary Bulldogs (17-10-1) used back-to-back wins on Friday and Saturday to eliminate the Wesson Cobras (12-13) in the 3A playoff series between the schools. 

On Friday in Covington County, the Bulldogs scored three runs in three-straight innings to get a 9-4 win.

Saturday at Wesson, the Cobras led 1-0 all the way through five complete innings before Seminary got two runs in the sixth and two runs in the seventh to earn the series ending 4-1 win. 

Seminary outhit Wesson 7-1 in the finale, with freshman Blayten Windom getting the only hit of the game for the Cobras. 

Coach Vance Windom will return much of his roster next season as Wesson was a young team, with only two seniors on the team. Both seniors, Landan Beasley and Preston Selman, were start-ers this season for Windom.

Seminary moves on to face West Marion (22-8) in the 3A quarterfinals. The other quarterfinals on the south side of the bracket pits Southeast Lauderdale (24-8) against St. Patrick (17-12).