Central Hinds 2, Prairie View 1
Pinch hitter Wesley Grantham drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly and Keller Bradford tossed a complete game as Central Hinds topped Prairie View 2-1 Tuesday night in the MAIS District 3-2A opener for both sides.
Stringing together three straight two-out hits, the Spartans got to Bradford for a run in the bottom of the first.
Maclendon Sharp found the left-center gap for a double, held at third on Austin McDonald's base hit to center and scored as Josh Daigle shot a base hit into left field.
There would be no further scoring until the fifth as Bradford, a righty sidewinder, and Sharp, a junior lefty, settled into a pitcher's duel.
Sharp sat down 11 in a row before yielding an unearned run in the fifth.
With one down, Bradford reached on an error. Courtesy runner Wesley Skinner moved into scoring position on Ty Mohler's groundout and crossed home with the tying run on Tanner Leggett's two-out base hit.
Sharp pitched around a pair of two-out walks in the top of the sixth.
Andrew Jenkins singled up the middle with two down in the Prairie View sixth, but was left stranded at first base.
Bradford led off the Cougars' half of the seventh with a base hit to right. Sliding headfirst, Skinner was safe at third on a close play when Mohler singled to right-center. Mohler then moved to second uncontested, leaving runners at second and third with nobody out.
A couple of pitches later, Jenkins, the Prairie View catcher, chased down a popped up bunt in foul territory on the first base side for the first out.
With the No. 9 spot due up, Grantham was called upon to pinch hit. Falling behind in the count 0-2, the lefty-swinging Grantham lofted a sac fly to left field, giving the Cougars their first lead, 2-1.
Bradford quickly recorded the first two outs on a called strike three and a groundout to start the seventh, bringing up the top of the Spartans' batting order.
Chyenne Mayo kept the Spartans alive with an infield single in the hole between third and short.
Moments later, Bradford retired the side with a groundout to Mohler at third base to preserve the victory.
Bradford spaced out seven hits, struck out six, walked one and hit a batter. Sharp pitched well enough to win, holding the Cougars to three hits, while punching out nine and walking three.
Bradford, Mohler and Leggett singled for the Cougars.
Prairie View out-hit the Cougars 7-3, but stranded base runners in every inning except the fourth. Sharp and Layne Gray doubled for the only extra base hits of the game and Mayo, Tristen Shanks, McDonald, Daigle and Jenkins singled.
Prairie View (6-2) and Central Hinds (7-1) meet again Thursday in Raymond, Miss. Game times are 4:30 p.m. for JV and 6:30 for varsity. The final game of the three-game set will be played at Prairie View on April 2.
Notes: Bradford is the son of Chad Bradford, who pitched for six teams during a 12-year Major League career. … Curious stat of the night: Prairie View went 6-for-11 after starting five innings with two outs and the bases empty.