MADISON — It came down to the very end.
DeSoto Central scored four runs in the top of the seventh and held on to defeat Germantown 12-9 in Game 1 of the Second Round of the MHSAA Class 6A Baseball Playoffs on Thursday night.
Game 2 is set for Friday night at 7 p.m. at DeSoto Central.
“It was one of those nights that makes you proud of the program,” DeSoto Central coach Mark Monaghan said. “Everybody involved did such a great job of being locked in and doing what we had to do to win. Both teams want to win, so it’s all about executing. We didn’t pitch well at all, but the resiliency at the plate is what we had to do to win.”
The Jaguars (21-9) jumped out to a 7-1 lead in the fourth inning, but Germantown scored five runs in the bottom of the inning to cut the lead to 7-6, highlighted by a bases-clearing double by Hampton Ross.
In the fifth inning, the Mavericks took a 8-7 lead on a two-run double by Colton Gardner.
DeSoto Central tied the game at 8 on a double to left by Andrew O’Neal in the top of the sixth inning.
In the bottom of the sixth Germantown had a chance to regain the lead but stranded runners at second and third.
The Jaguars then scored four runs in the top of the seventh on back-to-back RBI doubles by Ryan Moore and Colton Coates. Kristian Sprawling then followed with a two-run home run to give DeSoto Central a 12-8 lead.
“This was Kristian’s worse night with him having the error in the outfield and then striking out at key moment,” Monaghan said. “All we preach in the program is to respond and be resilient and that last at bat is what that is all about.”
Moore and Gavin Brassfield had two hits each for DeSoto Central. Will Norris got the win on the mound in relief for the Jaguars.
“We did not pitch well tonight. We had too many walks,” Monaghan said. “We have to do a better job of finding the zone and tomorrow we have to so we can try to close out the series at home.”
Conner Ware took the loss on the mound for Germantown. Gardner and Jacob King had two hits each for the Mavericks (23-4).
“Neither team thinks they played a good game, but for us, we didn’t throw enough strikes and didn’t play well on defense,” said Germantown coach Brian Hardy. “We battled and proud of the guys for staying in and not giving up. Just now see how we will respond to force a Game 3 back here Saturday.”