By Blake Long/Special to the Journal
JACKSON – The last time Bruce took the field for a Game 2, Hatley took a 14-0 win to force a 3rd game in the Class 2A North title series.
Josh Dowdy does not see a repeat performance, however, as his Trojans prepare for today’s Game 2 of the MHSAA 2A baseball state championship series.
“We’ll see a different focus,” the first-year coach said. “Our problem was we were trying too hard and pressing too much.”
Bruce will carry a 1-0 lead into Game 2, which is slated to begin at 1 p.m. at Smith-Wills Stadium, after Thursday’s 3-2 win over Taylorsville in nine innings.
Wiley Maddox hit an opposite-field double that scored Rashad Turner with two outs in the ninth for the winning run in Game 1, while Jay King went the distance on the mound for Bruce.
“We’re going to play tomorrow like it’s an elimination game,” Dowdy said on the phone Friday. “I told them as they got off the bus ‘Game 1 is over, we must be prepared for Game 2.'”
Dowdy had not named an official starter, but said it’s probable Chase Clark will get the call.
Kossuth ‘ready to go’
While Bruce is trying to avoid a third game, the Kossuth Aggies will be trying today to send their 3A series with Southeast Lauderdale to Game 3 on Monday.
The Tigers took the first game on Thursday with two big innings – a three-run third which they followed with a four more runs in the fifth – and look to sweep the series, which will resume at 4 p.m. today.
Kossuth has faced adverse situations before, including in Game 2 of the North title series when they were no-hit until the final inning against Belmont before winning 1-0, so they feel prepared for Game 2.
“They know what to do, I don’t have to tell them anything,” Aggies senior Tyler Nelms said after Game 1. “We’re ready to go.”
David Gibson, who outdueled Belmont’s Luke Alexander in the North championship game, will take the hill for Kossuth while Dandy Dozen selection LeDarius Clark is slated to start for the Tigers.