By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
JACKSON – Kossuth saw its chance evaporate, then watched Southeast Lauderdale celebrate.
Southeast scored three times in the seventh inning Wednesday to break a tie game and win the Class 3A championship 6-3 over the Aggies.
Kossuth scored its only three runs to take a lead in the first inning in front of an estimated 700 people at Smith-Wills Stadium.
It was the Aggies’ first appearance in the championship series.
“We just didn’t get some base knocks at opportune times,” Kossuth coach Daniel Threadgill said. “It’s nowhere we haven’t been before. We just weren’t able to break through.”
Kossuth (25-8) needed hits in the sixth with the score tied at 3-3.
Heath Wood, who had three of his team’s eight hits, singled and Josh Whitaker reached on a bunt. Tyler Nelms though, popped up a bunt and Tigers starter Colby Ramey struck out David Gibson and Blake Nethery. Ramey (10-2) got both wins in the series.
“We had opportunities and we let them go,” Nelms said.
It wasn’t the only opportunity lost. After taking its lead, Kossuth left two on as Dylan Rider’s liner went straight to Dandy Dozen centerfielder LeDarius Clark.
The Aggies loaded the bases and pulled within 2-1 on a hard single by Nelms. Jacob Wilcher and Whitaker then scored to put the Aggies up 3-2 on an error at first by Mason Irby.
Southeast (32-7) scored first on Blake McMullen’s two-run double and tied it on a two-out single from Gage Hagan. Clark’s single was the third straight and first since the first inning but Kossuth starter John Mitchell (5-1) stranded two. He struck out five.
“I thought (Mitchell) pitched an excellent game,” Threadgill said. “Mitchell was my guy from the get-go.”
In the seventh, Mitchell hit Josh Litchfield to open the inning. With two on and two out, Irby singled to score Hunter Thrower for a 4-3 lead. Five-hitter McMullen doubled to left for a 6-3 lead.
Kossuth nearly walked it off. Jordan Brawner singled and Mitchell walked with one out. Wood’s single loaded the bases and Whitaker’s near-400-foot shot to deep center was hauled in by Clark on the track.