GREENVILLE The Mooreville Troopers committed a whopping 13 errors, allowed 12 unearned runs and still managed to scrap out a victory.
Their 22-20 win over Greenville St. Joseph’s Fighting Irish Saturday, paired with a 12-2 win in the first game of the doubleheader, gave the Troopers a road sweep in the second round of the Class 2A playoff series.
“I have never seen a game like that before,” Mooreville starter Rhasheen Dilworth said. “If our defense had made the plays it wouldn’t have been a close game, just like the first.”
The Troopers had only one error in the first game, which lasted only six innings.
“It was like we had two different teams out there,” Mooreville coach Rex Berryman said. “After winning that first game we should have been relaxed out there. That was not much championship level play, but we are advancing to the next round.”
Berryman is amazed the Troopers survived the double-digit errors, but said this is it not the first time this year that the youthful defense has had that many errors, and the offense came back with a win.
“It’s a sign of a blow-up waiting to happen,” said Berryman, who has taken the Troopers to five state championships in the past. “Rhasheen depends on his defense to make a play. When they do he looks great.”
They didn’t do it Saturday, yet the Troopers (24-9) advance to play South Pontotoc. Mooreville will host the first game of the best-of-three series Thursday. The other two games will be at South Pontotoc Saturday.
Last week, Daniel McKinney won the first game in an opeing sweep of Bruce as Dilworth picked up the save before winning the second game. McKinney tried to reverse that in Greenville, but an error cost him a save opportunity as St. Joseph’s put together six runs in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game 19-19.
Dilworth (9-2) had endured a pounding, as had St. Joseph’s ace Jeffrey Giachelli (5-1). Giachelli gave up 17 runs before he was pulled after five innings. Then Giachelli hit a three-run homer off Dilworth in the bottom of the sixth to close the gap to 19-16 before Berryman went to McKinney.
“It was harder coming back in there the second game, but I believe I was throwing the ball harder. The game had more on the line,” McKinney said.
An error allowed the Irish to tie the game but Mooreville’s offense came back and helped McKinney to his second win of the day.
Eric Baker led off with a single, stole second and scored on a two-out wild pitch after Marky Pomeroy walked. Then losing pitcher Trey Stone (0-3) hit Jason McMillan, who stole second. Then Ian Foster, who had four RBI, drove in two runs.
Mooreville looked like it might get the only 1-2-3 frame of the game, but with two out the error bug struck twice and a rattled McKinney walked two batters to score a run. Dilworth, who shifted to shortstop to shore up the infield, pulled in a fly ball to end the game.
“We got lucky,” McKinney said.
Mooreville 12, St. Joseph 2
Mooreville 032 421 12 8 1
St. Joseph 020 000 2 4 4
WP – Daniel McKinney (7-3). LP – Kyle Way (4-2). Multiple Hits (M) Jason Raper 2, Shane Hutcherson 2.
Mooreville 22, St. Joseph 20
Mooreville 319 323 3 22 16 13
St. Joseph 312 526 1 20 18 5
WP – Daniel McKinney (8-3). LP – Trey Stone (0-3). Multiple Hits- (M) Jason Raper 2, Ian Foster 2, Daniel McKinney 2, Eric Baker 3, Jason McMillan 2, Rhasheen Dilworth 2, Jason Bishop 2; (S) Jeffrey Giachelli 3, Kyle Way 3, Bryan Peyton 4, Charles Thomas 2, Curt Luke 2. 2B – (M) McMillan 2, Baker, McKinney: (S) Giachelli, Thomas 2, Timmy Brogognoni. 3B – (S) Kendrick Mitchell. HR – (S) Giachelli. Records: Mooreville 24-9, St. Joseph 15-9.
Notes: Mooreville swept best-of -three second round series of the Class 2A baseball playoffs and advances to the North Mississippi 2A championship series.