By Blake Long/Special to the Journal
CORINTH – It takes a lot of arms to win the American Legion State Tournament with teams playing mandatory nine-inning games.
With that in the back of his mind, Corinth coach Dale Bain elected to get three of his pitchers some extra action in the Cardinals’ 13-7 win over Pontotoc on the final day of the Corinth American Legion Tournament.
Normally the team’s closer, Trae Bain (1-0) got the start and pitched the first three innings to pick up the win for the Cardinals.
“That’s the first time he’s started a game since he was in ninth grade,” Dale Bain said. “We wanted to see what he would do in case we get down to the State Tournament and get deep in it.”
Zack Carpenter and Hack Smith tossed two innings apiece to close the game for Corinth (11-6).
After falling behind 4-0, the Red Sox evened things with two outs in the top of the third. A bloop RBI single by Peyton Callahan was followed by a three-run home run off the bat of Stephen Sexton.
Sexton’s homer was his second in as many days at Jesse Bynum Field. He added a run-scoring double in the fifth and a sixth-inning single to finish the day 3 for 4.
“I’ve been slumping before this tournament,” said Sexton. “I found out (Trae Bain) was going to throw me nothing but curveballs so the first pitch I sat on it and he threw it right over the plate.”
The tie did not last long as Gage Davis responded with his own three-run shot over the left field wall in the bottom half off Red Sox (5-9) starter Will Faulkner (0-1).
David Gibson added his first home run of the summer in the fifth to cap off a 17-hit performance for the Cardinals a day after they hit into three double plays and failed to score against Hub City.
Mississippi Stars 6, Hub City 4: With Mississippi State coach John Cohen in attendance, Tre Welch scored the eventual winning run for the Stars (16-6) in the third inning when he scored from second base on a wild pitch.
Northwestern State signee Cort Brinson knocked a three-run homer in the seventh to make things interesting, but Ben Hellums recorded his first save to help the Stars finish the tournament a perfect 3-0.