Burdine’s walkoff keeps Hilltoppers alive in 4A tournament

By NEMS Daily Journal

Houston and Lewisburg probably both think their best-of-three MHSAA Class 4A baseball series should be over.
Lewisburg scored two in the seventh to steal the series opener Friday but Houston did the same at home on Saturday in a 4-3 win to even the series. Game 3 is scheduled for Monday at Lewisburg (25-7), the winner advancing to the state semifinals.
Lewisburg led 3-2 in the seventh, but the scrappy Hilltoppers (25-6) tied it, then won it on Austin Burdine’s walk-off RBI single.
“We’ve just been fighting and battling. It really doesn’t matter who wins Game 1, it’s who wins the last one,” Houston coach Scott Gann said.
That’s a good stat for Houston, which lost its opener against Amory last round, but won two straight with the series winner coming on the road.
“Hopefully we can keep that going,” Gann said.
Smithville may be one of the state’s most favored teams to win back-to-back fastpitch championships, but West Union wants its name in the hat too.
The Lady Eagles took care of business on the road Saturday in a 5-3 win against the Lady Seminoles (20-7).
Game 2 is scheduled for Monday at 5 p.m. at West Union with Game 3, if needed, following.
Smithville’s lone senior, Kyla Ford, tied the game at 3-all with an RBIsingle in the bottom of the fifth.
In the sixth, West Union took advantage of two Smithville errors to take the lead. Jessalyn Brewer had a leadoff triple and scored when Brittany Taylor reached on an error. Bailey Bogue reached on another error as another run gave the Lady Eagles (24-5) a two-run cushion.
Smithville got leadoff runner Billie Claire Goode on in the sixth, but West Union pitcher Taylor, who threw a complete game, doubled her up to seal the win.
“You have to tip your hat to their pitcher. She did a good job keeping us off balance,” Smithville coach Jeremy Duke said. “But it’s a new day Monday, and we’ve been on both ends of it. It’s a long way from over, but all 20 of my players are going to have to step up and be ready to go.”

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