By Blake Long/Special to the Journal
PEARL – Falkner ace Will Robertson has been a hoss for his Eagles during their run to the state championship round. However, in the end, Robertson just ran out of gas.
In the second game of the MHSAA Class 1A state championship series, Robertson surrendered four earned runs on nine hits and the Nanih Waiya Warriors took advantage of four Falkner errors in winning the 1A title with an 8-0 Game 2 victory on Thursday afternoon at Trustmark Park.
“Will battled,” Falkner coach Chip Johnson said of Robertson (12-4), who finished with eight strikeouts. “He got a case of the tired arm. We rode his arm during the playoffs.”
After going quietly the first two innings, Hunter Luke led off the bottom of the third with a triple and scored two batters later on Jeffrey Hemphill’s single to center field.
Following a Hunter Swart fielder’s choice, back-to-back run scoring doubles by Colby Eaves and Dominique Carter gave the Warriors a 4-0 lead.
Nanih Waiya (21-8) took advantage of Falkner errors the next two innings to build their lead. Luke scored in the fourth when Luke Rosamond’s ground ball went through the third baseman Tyler Windsor’s legs for a 5-0 lead.
In the fifth, two more errors led to a two-RBI single by Zach Hanna to extend the Warriors’ lead to 7-zip.
The Warriors capped their scoring in the sixth when Hemphill scored on Carter’s fielder’s choice.
Falkner (18-17) had its chances to put runs on the board. Robertson led off the game with a double. After Dallas Hill walked and a fly out advanced both runners, a pop out and strikeout left Robertson and Hill stranded.
In the fifth, the Eagles loaded the bases with two outs on singles by Russell and David Lindsey and a walk by Trevor Wilson. A fly out to center field, though, ended Falkner’s threat. In the game, Falkner left 12 runners on base.
“We didn’t get the big hit,” Johnson said, “It was a bad start and we couldn’t get the runners in.”
Eaves (10-1) recorded the complete-game victory for the Warriors, scattering seven hits and striking out 10.
“I knew before the game if he could throw strikes we could have success,” Warriors coach Tyler Rogers said. “He did what he had to do for us to win.”