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Heritage Academy baseball season ends in semifinal round; New Hope advances




AMITE CITY, La. -- The Oak Forest (La.) Academy baseball team swept Heritage Academy 8-0 and 13-3 in five innings Friday to win the best-of-three Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA, Division II semifinal round playoff series. 


Oak Forest Academy, the No. 1 seed out of the South, lost to Heritage Academy 4-1 on Wednesday in Columbus. It advances to face Magnolia Heights, the No. 1 seed out of the North, in the Class AAA, Division II title series next week. 


Heritage Academy, which played an errorless game Wednesday, committed 11 errors in the games Friday, including six in the opener. It ends its season at 19-14. 


In Game 1, Steve Liuzza limited Heritage Academy to four hits in a complete-game effort. He walked two and out six. Hunter Sykes had a double, Dylan Barker had two hits, and Thomas Cooper had a hit. Sykes started and took the loss. He allowed six hits and four earned runs in four innings. He walked one and struck out three. Logan Sneed allowed one hit and one earned run in two innings. He walked four and struck out one. 


In Game 2, Oak Forest Academy took command early, scoring four runs in the first inning, two in the second, and four more in the third. 


Chet Niehaus started and earned the victory. He allowed two hits and zero earned runs. He walked three and struck out three. 


Tyler Anderson scored two runs for the Patriots. Copper had two hits, including a double, and an RBI, while Tanner Fittes also had an RBI.  


Jace Caldwell started and took the loss. The senior left-hander allowed six hits and four earned runs in 2 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out two. Cooper allowed four hits and three earned runs. He walked two and didn't strike out a batter. 


n New Hope 14, Center Hill 3: At Olive Branch, the Trojans pounded out 16 hits and clinched their Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A playoff series by the run rule. 


New Hope will play host to Pearl to start a second-round series Friday night. 


Winners of 14 straight, Jake Hollis and Parker Earhart led the offensive attack with three hits each. Payton Lane, JC Redden and Wells Davis each added two hits. Redden hit a home run in the contest. Redden, Hollis, Taylor Stafford and Earhart each drove in two runs. 


Redden went the distance on the mound in the five-inning contest, allowing five hits and one earned run. 




n Hamilton 8-10, Vardaman 0-0: At Hamilton, the Lady Lions advanced to the MHSAA North State Final Four by run ruling Vardaman Saturday to clinch the best-of-three series. 


Track and field 


n Starkville Academy's Merchant finishes second: At Jackson, Starkville Academy's Caleb merchant finished second in the long jump with a mark of 21 feet, 9 1/2 inches Friday at the MAIS overall state track and field meet at Jackson Academy. 


The field events were held Friday. The running events were scheduled for today at Jackson Prep. 


Heritage Academy's Mary Douglass Kerby finished fourth in the Class AAA shot put (33-4). She won the shot put with a throw of 34-8 1/2 at the Class AAA meet. 


Starkville Academy's Maris Mooreland was second in the Class AAA high jump (5-2). She finished second in the event at the Class AAA meet.  


Heritage Academy's Michael Ledbetter was eighth in the Class AAA high jump (5-6). He finished fourth in the event at the Class AAA meet (5-8).



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