BY BRADLEY CROW
The Wesson Cobras (19-8) used big sticks to bomb the Clarkdale Bulldogs out of the playoffs Monday evening with a 9-5 victory.The Cobras hit four homeruns in the deciding third game of the series.
The young Cobras fell behind 2-0 early on, but senior pitcher Jonathan Grace belted a solo shot to cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the second. After an inning in which the score fell 3-3, the Cobras struck again when freshman left fielder Brandon Allen homered to give the Cobras a 5-4 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Clarkdale intentionally walked Grace, leading to trouble as freshman second baseman Matt P. Smith drilled a 3-run homer of his own to give the Cobras a 8-4 advantage. Immediately following Smith’s bomb, centerfielder Alan Stegall ripped a solo shot of his own to push the Cobras up 9-4.
Grace (8-4) would finish the contest with 7 strikeouts and issued only one walk as he led the Cobras on the mound to yet another victory.
“I am awful proud of these kids,” explained a happy Wesson head coach Hugh Knight. “We could have quit after Thursday night, but they kept fighting. This is great for the town, the school, the kids, everybody–we just are happy to keep playing.”
Wesson 9, Clarkdale 1
The Cobras traveled to Clarkdale Friday evening already down a game to the Bulldogs and pulled out a victory on the road with a 9-1 win directed by a huge pitching performance from freshman Caleb Broome.
Broome allowed only one run on three hits and picked up two strikeouts in the win that tied the series at one game each.
The Cobras erupted for 9 runs on 11 hits, led by Broome who finished 3 for 4 with 2 doubles and a single. Matt P. Smith had a double and a single, while Grace and freshman third baseman Kyle Cross belted a home run each. Langston Berry and Stegall ripped a double for the Cobras as Chris Fink and Matt S. Smith ripped a single each. Kenny Roberts took the loss for the Bulldogs.
Clarkdale 9, Wesson 2
Clarkdale smashed the Cobras in the opener of the second round playoff match-up 9-2 in front of a capacity crowd at Wesson.
The Bulldogs pounded out 9 runs on 11 hits against Grace on a night when errors and mistakes got the best of the Cobras.
Offensively for the Cobras, Grace had one home run. Cross, Fink, and Matt S. Smith each had two singles each. Broome and Stegall had a hit in the losing effort.
The Cobras tangle next with defending state champion Richton in the class 2A south state semi-finals. The Rebels come to Wesson Friday evening at 6:00 p.m. and then the Cobras travel to Richton for a 6:00 p.m. contest Saturday. If a game three is needed, a coin flip will decide the home team.