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HEADED TO SOUTH STATE AA FINALS – Copiah baseball team members are, front row from left, Chris Flanigen, Jeremy Newman, Ben Boone B J Newman and Mathew Wright. Standing from left are Coach Terry Bauer, Dustin Merchant, Russ Singleton, Scotty Reece, Hunter Renfroe, Treaver Blocker, Phillip Douglas, Brice Guess, Mitch Little and Coach Scooter Prince. The Colonel tangle with the Central Private Rebels on Monday. PHOTO SUBMITTED BY JEFF ‘BLOOPY’ NEWMAN

GALLMAN – Copiah Academy baseball has ventured into historic territory after an amazing 10-9 win over Centreville Academy last night.  The Colonels swept the South State AA semifinals series with the Tigers 2-0, advancing to face Central Private, the defending State AA and overall champs next week. 

The Tigers sprinted to a 6-0 lead in the first 3 innings behind Brown’s two home runs and errors by the Colonels.  Copiah picked up one in the bottom of the third, five in the fourth and one in the fifth to take a 7-6 lead.  Centreville plated two in the top of the sixth and one in the top of the seventh to take a 9-7 lead going into the bottom of the seventh.

Down by two runs at the start of the final frame, Copiah’s Matthew Wright hit the first pitch of the frame over the centerfield wall to cut the lead to one.  The next batter, Mitch Little, dodged a bullet when the Tiger rightfielder dropped a sure out on a foul ball down the right field line.  On the next pitch, Little scorched a liner back into right field that got by the defender, allowing Little to advance to second base.

Jeremy Newman came in as a courtesy runner for Little for extra speed on the bases.

The Tiger pitcher walked the next Copiah batter, putting runners on first and second with no outs.  Russ Singleton then tied the game when his bunt to the pitcher was thrown away at third, scoring Newman.  With runners on second and third with no outs, the Tigers then intentionally walked Ben Boone to load the bases.

That’s where things got a little harried for the Colonels.  Hunter Renfroe popped out the shortstop, then Scotty Reese struck out, bringing up last week’s Game 2 hero Bryce Guess with two outs and the bases loaded.  Guess fouled off two pitches to go 0-2, then managed to get the bat on the ball on the third pitch.  What looked like a routine ground ball to the Tiger shortstop was bobbled by the defender, and Guess beat the throw out to first for an infield hit that scored a Copiah runner to win the game 10-9.

Before the theatrics displayed by the Colonels in the bottom of the seventh, the Colonels  benefited from a good pitching move in the top of the frame.  Scotty Reese, who had come in to relieve Boone, threw only one pitch, thereby giving him the win in the pitching column.  Boone relieved Matthew Wright, the starter, and had pitched 2 and 2/3 innings and had gotten 2 strikes on the Centreville batter before coach Prince elected to bring Reese in.

Copiah will have to travel to Central Private, located just north of Baton Rouge, LA, on Monday, May 5 for game 1.  First pitch is anticipated to be at 6 p.m.

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