Coaches, pitchers alert in squeezed schedule

By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal

The Mississippi High School Activities Association allows pitchers to pitch 17 innings per week, so a squeezed-in playoff schedule due to rain and state testing makes keeping track even more crucial.
Two years ago, Bruce was disqualified after winning Class 2A North for breaking the innings-pitched rule.
In Class 1A this week, West Union had to play a Monday game and now faces a Thursday-Saturday second-round series against Thrasher.
“We were lucky that Drew Garrett only threw 68 pitches Monday,” West Union coach Ashley Russell said. “I really don’t think it’s going to affect us that much. I feel like we have three guys capable of giving us quality starts, then a couple of guys we can bring in as well. I really don’t think four games will be an issue.”
Joey Dillard will start at 6:30 p.m. today at Thrasher, with Garrett and Hunter Jennings to follow.
In Class 3A, top seed Kossuth opens its postseason run at home at 6 p.m. today against Water Valley.
Aggies coach Daniel Threadgill said his team is fortunate to have a deep rotation and bullpen.
“We have a few arms to play with. We’re fortunate. It actually benefits us to to play three days in a row if it comes to that,” Threadgill said. “We’ve got guys who have done this and are comfortable. I’m comfortable with whoever we run out there.”
Tyler Nelms is tonight’s likely starter, with David Gibson Friday on the road. John Mitchell would likely start Saturday.
“I’m very comfortable with our top three. All three throw with different styles and are very effective. It’s great to have that, too,” Threadgill said.
Amory hosts Lafayette to open 4A play. Coach Chad Williams says he will stick with the usual plan to keep his pitchers well rested.
Tanner Poole is tonight’s likely starter.
“Usually what we do is not let them throw unless they have three days rest if they threw more than 30 or 35 pitches,” Williams said. “We do that all season where we can have him fresh if we’re fortunate enough to make the playoffs.”
brandon.speck@journalinc.com