By John Davis
OXFORD – Taylor Stafford’s goal of celebrating on Oxford’s Edwin Moak Field became reality.
A night after leading New Hope to a win in the first game of the best-of-three Class 5A North champion-ship series, Stafford came through Friday night.
The Mississippi State signee singled through the right side of the infield, driving in Will Golsan, an Ole Miss signee, to break a 2-2 tie in the top of the seventh.
The Trojans went on to earn a trip to Pearl to defend their 5A title.
“It was awesome. I knew coming into that last inning that it could come down to me. I knew how bad we wanted to beat them here at their place,” Stafford said moments after the 3-2 win. “We got to dog pile.”
New Hope coach Lee Boyd said heading into the seventh, it was do or die because his starter, JC Redden, was about out of gas.
“Taylor had struggled and I just tried to give him a word of encouragement and luckily for us he came through,” Boyd said.
Redden closed the door to earn the complete-game win, stranding two Chargers in scoring position.
“I had command of all three pitches and I felt like I was filling the zone up and letting my defense play,” Redden said.
Houston Roth was saddled with the loss for Oxford despite giving up just four hits in seven innings.