Newton 13, Prairie View 5
DECATUR, Miss. — Newton County jumped out to an 8-2 second-inning lead on its way to a 13-5 win over Prairie View in the opener of a best-of-three MAIS Class 2A playoff series Tuesday night.
Game 2 of the second-round series is scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday at Prairie View with the rubber match to follow, if necessary.
Prairie View went ahead briefly in the top of the first when Auston Smith drew a two-out walk, stole second and scored on Hunter Herring's double to left.
NCA countered with five in its half of the first and never relinquished the lead.
Doubles by Zac Kyzar and Braxton Rose started the outburst. Five hit batsman and an RBI single by Bailey McDill later, the Generals had opened up a 5-1 spread.
Connor Ouellette's RBI single chased home Jacob Fortner, who walked, to bring the Spartans within 5-2 in the second.
Kemp Alderman started the NCA second with a home run to straight-away center field and the Generals went on to plate two more en route to building an 8-2 lead.
Taking advantage of two hit batters, a walk and Fortner's two-run single, the Spartans drew within 8-5 in the third, but could get no closer.
Newton added two in the third, two in the fourth and one in the sixth.
Rose, the second of three NCA pitchers, received credit for the win.
NCA out-hit the Spartans 8-5. Kyzar set the tone for the Generals offensively by going 2-for-2 with a double, a single, two walks and an HBP and scoring three runs. Alderman went deep, Rose doubled and Dalton Hollingsworth, McDill, Dalton Sibley and Austin Upton singled.
Herring doubled for the Spartans (22-3) and Tanner Caldwell, Fortner, Andrew Janes and Ouellette singled.
Blake Ray, the first of five Prairie View pitchers, was charged with the loss.
If there was a silver lining for the Spartans, the District 6-2A champions burned a minimal amount of pitching (under MAIS rules, pitchers are limited to 110 pitches per week). Ray was pulled after 40 pitches, and relievers Tanner Caldwell and Mason Rogers threw 49 and 40, respectively. Auston Smith did not take the mound Tuesday.
Notes: Prairie View, which saw its 12-game winning streak come to an end, appeared rusty coming off of an 18-day layoff. The Spartans were charged with five errors, while their pitchers issued an uncharacteristic seven walks and plunked six batters. ... NCA pitchers had control issues as well, walking six and hitting four. ... The Prairie View-NCA winner advances to play the Wayne-Glenbrook winner in the semifinals. Down 4-1, Wayne rallied for four runs in the seventh to nip Glenbrook 5-4 in Tuesday's series opener at Minden.