By David Wheeler/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal
MOOREVILLE – Beginning this week, the Mooreville Troopers were two games behind the Mantachie Mustangs in Division 2-3A standings.
And they were on the fence in terms of making the postseason.
Now, the Troopers are the division’s No. 1 seed by a play at the plate.
Mooreville made a six-run fourth inning stand up, throwing out the potential game-tying run at the plate in the top of the seventh inning Thursday to claim a 6-5 victory over the Mustangs.
“I knew coming into the week, if we played our game, we had a chance,” Mooreville head coach Derek Thompson said. “I think our guys really grew up Tuesday, and that really carried into tonight.
“On the ball to right field, I thought it was a tie game. It took hustle from our right fielder, it took a perfect throw from our second baseman, and a perfect tag by our catcher.”
Entering the top of the seventh inning, Mooreville (17-8, 7-3) held a 6-3 lead over its rival. Mantachie (12-10, 6-4) got its first two batters on base prior to a fly out and a fielders choice.
That brought Cody Chatham to the plate, who hit a slow rolling single toward third base, scoring a run. Jacob Roberts followed that with a double over the right fielder’s head that easily scored one run.
But Lanson Whitman got to the ball quickly, and Cody Cryder took the relay and threw a strike that beat the Mantachie runner for the final out of the contest.
“I was thinking we were going all the way on the play,” Mantachie head coach Scott Collier said.
The Troopers scored its six runs in the bottom of the fourth, three scoring on a Cody Cryder double. Mantachie responded with two in the fifth, including an RBI double by Austin Byrd; and one in the sixth on an RBI single by Dustin Carrell.
Mantachie will be the No. 3 seed from 2-3A.