By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
JACKSON – Myrtle’s Hawks spent most of Tuesday’s 21/2-hour rain delay sitting in their dugout at Trustmark Park.
“We should have been in the batting cage,” a disappointed Myrtle coach Robert Gordon said.
Gordon’s reponse came moments after he watched his team three-hit in a 6-0 loss to Vicksburg’s St. Aloysius in the first game of their MHSAA Class 1A best-of-three state championship baseball series.
The second game of the series between the Hawks (20-9) and Flashes (21-7) is scheduled for 4 p.m. today.
St. Aloysius senior right-hander Stephen Evans mixed his breaking ball and fastball well enough to strike out 10 Hawks in seven innings.
“He tried to hit his spots and threw his breaking ball for strikes,” Gordon said. “He had great command and kind of baffled our bats.
“We never got anything going other than the first inning.”
Myrtle’s Sean Wigington and Jimel Judon singled in the top of the first – Wigington before the rains came, Judon afterwards.
“He mixed his pitches really well,” said Judon, an Ole Miss signee who is expected to pitch in today’s game. “We weren’t as poised today as we usually are. We’ll bring it back (today).”
St. Aloysius took a 3-0 lead in the second inning on a three-run bloop single to right field by Brendan Beesley. Evans and Regan Nosser reached base on singles earlier in the inning.
Pierson Waring and Blake Haygood plated runs for the Flashes in a three-run fourth inning with singles off Myrtle starter Beau Cummings (8-1). However, all three runs were unearned following a fielding error by the shortstop.
Evans (11-4) didn’t need much help from his defending state champion teammates. He faced 22 batters in seven innings and retired the side in six straight – starting in the second.
After a single by Adam Baker in the second inning, Evans no-hit his opponent.
“I hit all my spots and threw all my pitches for strikes,” he said. “I knew I needed to get ahead of their hitters.”