By Daily Journal Reports
JACKSON – Bruce’s postseason celebration didn’t last long.
The Trojans took a 1-0 lead in their MHSAA Class 2A best-of-three state championship baseball series Thursday with a 3-2 nine-inning win over defending title holder Taylorsville.
The second game is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at Smith-Wills Stadium.
“We feel good, but when we get off that bus tonight in Bruce, it’s over,” Bruce coach Josh Dowdy said. “We’re going to have to play our best game (Saturday).”
Taylorsville coach Dusty Hillman called his team’s situation “do-or-die” in the series.
“We’ve got to come out Saturday ready to go,” he said. “Their guy (Bruce pitcher Jay King) did a great job holding us at bay. We’ve got to come out swinging the bats.”
King, a senior right-hander, hopes the Trojans can wrap up the series in two games. However, if it goes to Monday, he’s ready to pitch again.
“I’ve got a rubber arm,” King said, then smiled, as he stood near the field with ice bags on his shoulder and elbow. “I got tired out there today. It was hot out there on that (artificial) turf. It drains you.”
The pitcher’s mound is artificial turf.
When coach Daniel Threadgill’s Kossuth Aggies took the field against Southeast Lauderdale, the third-year coach stood across the diamond from a former mentor of his.
Tigers coach Shay Cooper coached Threadgill’s summer Ameican Legion teams while he was in high school.
“Daniel’s a great guy,” Cooper said. “He was a gritty and tough player, and you’ll see that with his kids.”
Both head coaches are Monroe County natives – Threadgill a Hatley product and Cooper hailing from Amory.
Game 2s in 1A, 4A and 6A are scheduled for today.
Nanih Waiya, a 5-2 winner in Game 1, plays defending champion Greenville St. Joseph at 1 p.m. in Class 1A.
Purvis, a 5-3 winner in Game 1, plays Lewisburg at 4 p.m. in Class 4A.
Oak Grove, a 4-0 winner in Game 1, plays Madison Central at 7 p.m. in Class 6A.
Gene Phelps, Blake Long