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Lee defeats Copiah to win AA title

Some things just aren’t meant to be.  No one else is more aware of that than the 2009 Copiah Academy Colonel baseball team, after the Lee Colts took home the state AA title on Saturday night.  And, in Canton, MS, of all places.

The best-of-three series began in Gallman last Tuesday evening.  The heavily favored Colonels seemingly had no trouble with the Colts in the opening ball game, winning 15-0 in only five innings.  Senior hurler Scotty Reese allowed only four hits to the Colts in the contest, in picking up another shut-out victory.

The Colonels jumped out to a big lead of 6-0 after the first inning off Colt pitcher Tony Antici.  Copiah then picked up one in the second, five in the third and three in the fourth.  Colonel batters Mitch Little and Bryce Guess had two singles apiece to pace the Colonel attack against Antici and three other Colt pitchers.  Russ Singleton also homered.

On Thursday the teams met in Clarksdale for Game 2.  Colt Field was a mess after several days of heavy rains had drenched the Clarksdale area.  However, the grounds crew caught a break when the sun shined all day on Thursday, and the team was able to get the field in minimum playing shape by game time.

The game’s first pitch was at approximately 6:00 p.m.  The complete-7-inning game’s final pitch came only 74 minutes later.  The pitcher’s dual between Copiah’s Ben Boone and Lee’s Garrett Radicioni, combined with the almost-as-unhittable field conditions, made for the short game.

Lee picked up two runs–all of which came in the bottom of the fourth inning–on just five hits, but the pair were the difference in the game and evened the series at one game each

On Saturday, the Lee Colts packed up the bus and headed back to Gallman, only to find more field problems, the result of Saturday afternoon’s heavy thunderstorms in the area which rendered Colonel Field unplayable.

After much deliberation between the administrations and coaching staffs of the two schools, and with a little guidance from the MPSA, the game was moved to Canton Academy.

So, a little past 7 p.m. on Saturday, game 3 finally got underway.  Once again, Antici took the mound for Lee to face Scotty Reese for Copiah.

Through 2 innings the score remained 0-0, each pitcher going through opposing batters like a hot knife through butter.  In the third, however, the fireworks began.

Lee put up four runs in the top of the frame, then held Copiah to zero.  

Copiah battled back and tied the game at 4 in the bottom of the fourth.

The starting pitchers of each team were pulled.  Radicioni took over for Lee, and, Trevor Blocker, for Copiah.

All stayed quiet until the teams each plated one run in the seventh inning to force extra-innings.  A dramatic one-out homerun by Copiah’s Ben Boone tied the game at 5 in the bottom of the inning.

In the eighth, Lee strung together a couple of hits to score once and take the lead.

Radicioni, with new energy, then came in the bottom of the inning and sat three straight Colonel batters down to the end the game and earn the win for the Colts.

Copiah finished 29-5 and AA runners-up and will have everyone back next year except for Reese, who graduated Friday night.

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