Rivals to meet in baseball playoffs

 

Ben Portnoy

 

 

Caledonia coach Travis Garner is ready to talk. 

 

While the Mississippi High School Activities Association 4A state baseball brackets forecasted a meeting between Lowndes County schools Caledonia and New Hope in the round of 16, Garner had kept his eyes on a first-round matchup with Corinth. 

 

But after disbanding of the Tomahawks in three games, the local matchup has come to fruition. 

 

"I know it's something I think both sides are looking forward to," Garner said.  

 

Game one will take place Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at New Hope. 

 

Caledonia took care of business in game three against Corinth with a 10-4 victory. 

 

Cade Stacy earned the win on the bump, pitching four innings of two-hit ball, while striking out seven. Tony Brooks was similarly dominant in relief. Brooks gave up just one hit and struck out four in three innings of work to earn the save.  

 

Offensively, Garner has liked what he has seen as well. 

 

Justin Black and Gavin Holloman both notched multi-hit outings in game three against Corinth. 

 

"For the most part, our batting order since spring break one through nine has been solid," he said. "Everybody's contributing." 

 

New Hope enters the series following a dominant 2-0 sweep of Gentry. The Trojans piled on the runs in the first round, tagging the Rams for 42 runs in two games. 

 

On the mound, New Hope closed out both contests in three innings, saving the arms of Payton Springfield and Ryan Burt for this week's series. 

 

New Hope head coach Lee Boyd said the three-game format of the playoffs poses a slight challenge in managing pitchers, but that the extra rest can't hurt. 

 

"It's kind of a county rivalry and, man, it makes it bigger that it's in the playoffs," Boyd said. "They've got a good team and a good program so we expect a big crowd for all three games." 

 

 

Ben Portnoy reports on Mississippi State sports for The Dispatch.

 

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