Marshall 8, Prairie View 6
Matt Rappa went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles as Marshall turned back Prairie View 8-6 in Game 1 of the MAIS Class 2A best-of-three first-round series.
Games 2 and 3 (if necessary) will be played Friday in Holly Springs, Miss., starting at 5 p.m.
"We have to win two Friday or it's Katy bar the door," Prairie View coach Dan Smart said.
Both teams put up a run in the first inning of Tuesday's game.
With one down in the Marshall first, Aaron McAlexander was hit by a pitch, Vincent Hoytt walked and Von Watson slammed an RBI double just inside the third base bag. Prairie View shortstop Brandon Jacobs tracked down a fly ball on the run near the left field line for the second out to prevent further damage.
Prairie View (13-8) answered as Tristen Shanks reached on a two-base error and Maclendon Sharp shot an RBI double into the right-center gap.
McAlexander (10-2) would not allow another base runner past second until the fifth.
Marshall (15-11) picked up three in the second and never relinquished the lead.
Josh Mask singled to right-center with one away. With two down, Dakota Dailey walked and McAlexander raked a two-run double to left. Hoytt followed with a double, which kicked up chalk down the third base line and skipped into the left field corner. Brian "The Chihuahua" Novarese, McAlexader's courtesy runner, scored easily, upping the Patriots' lead to 4-1.
Marshall moved out to a commanding 7-1 advantage with one in the third and two more in the fifth.
Rappa bounced a one-hopper off the center field wall for a double to start the third, took third on a wild pitch and continued home on an error.
With one out in the fifth, Watson was safe on a bobbled ground ball, advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch and completed the circuit on Rappa's second double of the afternoon. B.W. Langston followed with an RBI single, stretching the visitors lead to 7-1.
"I would like to see us play one of our better games against them," Smart said. "We waited to late to get started today and Marshall did what they had to do. They made the plays defensively and hit the ball."
Prairie View climbed back into the game with four in its half of the fifth.
Jacobs found the left-center gap for a leadoff double, bringing up the top of the order. Chyenne Mayo followed with an RBI single up the middle and pulled into second on the throw to the plate. Mayo held at second as Tristen Shanks reached on a mishandled grounder.
Dailey, the Patriots' shortstop, then ranged into shallow left field to make a tumbling, over-the-shoulder catch on Sharp's 'tweener for the first out.
Up next, Josh Daigle poked an opposite-field, RBI single to right, continued to third on a throwing error and stumbled across the plate as the throw to third sailed into left field. Just like that, the Spartans had sliced the deficit to 7-5.
"They helped us out some in our big inning," Smart said. "but we couldn't catch up because they never stopped hitting the ball."
Chance Lykens walked to open the Marshall sixth and Dailey knocked a double to deep right-center — the Patriots' sixth two-bagger of the game — placing runners at second and third with nobody out. Shanks, who spelled Sharp on the mound to start the inning, was able to limit the damage as Vince Hoytt's RBI groundout padded the Patriots' margin to 8-5.
McAlexander worked his only 1-2-3 frame in the sixth and Shanks pitched around Rappa's leadoff single in the top of the seventh.
Prairie View brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh.
Shanks doubled to left-center with one down. Marshall second baseman Devin McGregor then went deep into the hole on the first base side on Sharp's base hit to hold Shanks at third. Josh Daigle's sacrifice fly chased Shanks across, bringing the score to 8-6, but that was as close as the Spartans could get.
McAlexander struck out three and walked one in the complete game victory.
Rappa rapped two doubles and a single to spearhead the Patriots' nine-hit output. Dailey, McAlexander, Hoytt and Watson doubled and Langston and Mask singled.
Sharp paced the Spartans' eight-hit attack with a double and a single, Shanks and Jacobs doubled, and Mayo, Daigle, Austin McDonald and Matt Reed singled.
Sharp was dealt the loss for the Spartans, striking out five, walking one and allowing seven hits through five innings. Shanks worked the final two frames.