After Saturday's games, the playoff picture did not get much clearer for most of the eight area teams still alive. Only West Lauderdale's baseball team is guaranteed a spot in the next round.
The Knights fell into a four-run hole going into the bottom of the second inning of their contest with Pearl. West was able to plate one run in the bottom of the frame. In the next inning, an Austin Davis double down the left field line moved Luke Walker to third with no outs. During Cody Freeman's at bat, Walker scored on a passed ball. A Paxton Pace RBI single up the middle got the Knights to within a run. With the score tied at six in the last inning, Freeman led off with a double. He then advanced to third on a bunt before scoring the winning on Darren Farmer's suicide squeeze. West Lauderdale earned a trip to the 4A North State championship and now awaits the winner of the Neshoba Central / Lafayette County series.
That series is tied at a game apiece after the Rockets took Saturday's matchup 11-3. The third and deciding game of the series will be played Thursday, May 3 at Lafayette County.
The Lake Hornets also face a game three in their series. Brian Goodman's team dropped the second game to Gulfport-St. John 9-7. They will return home Thursday, May 3 needing a win to advance to the South State championship series.
Clarkdale was eliminated from the postseason with an 8-5 loss to Richton. The Bulldogs were the second straight area team that the Rebels knocked out of the playoffs. They beat Union last weekend.
CHS can still bring home a state championship, but it will be up to the girls to do it. The fast-pitch team split the first two games of their best-of-three series with Union on Saturday. Both games went to extra innings with the Lady Bulldogs winning game one 6-5. The Lady Jackets rebounded to take the late game 9-8. The South State champion will be crowned Monday night at Clarkdale at 6:00.
Newton County will also be in action on Monday after splitting a pair with Richland. In game one, the Lady Cougars found themselves in an early five-run hole, but were able to make the score 6-5. That was as close as they would get as Richland added two more to take the three-run win. Game two was a different story as Newton County shut out the Lady Rangers with a 10-run victory.
The only area fast-pitch team eliminated from their hunt for a state title Saturday was Quitman. The Lady Panthers dropped a pair of games on the road to Desoto Central. Quitman fell in game one by a score of 3-2 and only plated one run in their game two loss.