PEARL, MS (WDAM) - West Jones High School had come into the Class 5A state baseball championship series swinging the bats very well.
That didn’t change Wednesday evening, as the Mustangs banged out 15 hits in a 10-1 victory over Lafayette High School to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series at Trustmark Park.
West Jones (28-5) stands a game away from the first state baseball championship in school history. Game Two of the best-of-three series is set for 7 p.m. Thursday.
But West Jones coach Trey Sutton said while he was pleased with the Mustangs’ performance Wednesday, it will mean very little when the teams meet again.
“Tomorrow starts zero-zero in the first inning, and nothing we did (Wednesday) carries over on the scoreboard,” Sutton said. “So, we’ve got to really lock in and come out with same intensity and see how we down.”
West Jones came out snorting fire Wednesday.
The first three Mustangs singled, with first baseman Colson Harris’ single scoring center fielder Walker Thompson with the game’s first run.
By the time the smoke cleared on the first inning, the Mustangs had sent eight men to the plate and held a 4-0 lead. Second baseman Garrett McLaurin drove in a run with a grounder to the right side and shortstop Cole Tolbert brought in another with an RBI-triple. The inning’s fourth run scored on one of Lafayette’s five errors.
That was all the support that Dustin Dickerson needed.
The University of Southern Mississippi signee came within an out of a seven-inning complete game. He wound up allowing a run on five hits, walking three and striking out 13.
“We’ve been swinging it like this for the past month, and it’s awesome pitching with those bats,” Dickerson said, who helped his cause with a single and a run driven in.
West Jones added a run in the second inning on Harris’ second hit of the game.
The Mustangs all but put the game away in the third inning, scoring four times for a 9-0 lead.
Catcher Adam Bassett came up with a two-run single, Thompson’s single knocked in another and Dickerson’s sacrifice fly capped the inning.
Lafayette (20-11-1) got its lone run in the third inning when left fielder Connor Rucker was hit y a pitch and second baseman Brandon McCord and center fielder Ben Harper followed with singles.
West Jones tacked on its final run of the game in the sixth inning on Tolbert’s fourth hit of the day, an RBI-single.
Tolbert finished with a triple and three singles, knocking in two runs and scoring twice. Thompson and Harris each hit three singles and scored two runs.
Right fielder Logan Kelly had a pair of singles, Bassett and designated hitter Kelton Keene each hit a single and scored a run, while Basset drove in two and Keene one.
Harper and shortstop Tyus Williams had two singles each, while catcher William Larson hit a double.