CLINTON — DeSoto Central scored seven runs in the fourth inning and nine more in the fifth en route to a 19-7 win over Clinton in five innings in Game 1 of the first round of the MHSAA Class 6A Baseball playoffs on Thursday night.
Game 2 is set for Friday night at DeSoto Central at 7 p.m.
“It was a back and forth boxing match early and we were able to settle and swing the bats the way we were able to,” said DeSoto Central coach Mark Monaghan. “This one was going to be exciting for us because we’re such a youthful team.”
The Jaguars jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a two-run double by Andrew O’Neal.
Clinton responded in the bottom of the inning, scoring three runs to take a 3-2 lead highlighted by a two-run double by Grant Holmes.
The Arrows added to their lead at 4-2 in the second inning on a RBI double by Tyler Janos.
DeSoto Central cut the lead to 4-3 on a RBI single from Gavin Brassfield.
In the fourth inning, the Jaguars put up seven runs on five hits, highlighted by the first of Kristian Sprawling’s two doubles, which cleared the bases.
“Kristian has been out the last two weeks with a hamstring injury, so it’s good to see him swing the bat well,” Monaghan said. “He brings so much to the table especially when he’s on the bases.”
The Jaguars put up nine more runs in the fifth inning, despite tallying just one hit.
“We kept our focus at the plate and applied as much pressure on them as possible,” Monaghan said. “We put the ball in play and see what happens. Winning Game 1 on the road in 6A is tough, and now we have a chance to close out the series at home.”
Brock Tapper (4-1) got the win on the mound for DeSoto Central. O’Neal, Brassfield and Russ Musselwhite had two hits each for the Jaguars (19-9).
Cole Manuel (4-4) took the loss on the mound for Clinton (10-16). Manuel and Janos had two hits each for the Arrows.
“Too many walks tonight,” Clinton coach Chase Stewart said. “And that’s something we’ve got to eliminate. Every time they scored, we had an answer offensively. Defensively, it was a big let down tonight, but tomorrow is a new day. This team responds well, and we will try to force a Game 3.”