Desoto County Sports

Thursday sports: Lewisburg beats Hernando to open baseball playoff series

The Lewisburg baseball Patriots Thursday night used a big five-run sixth inning to down the Hernando Tigers 7-2 and take a 1-0 lead in their 7A second round playoff series. Last year’s 6A state champion Patriots will seek the series sweep and advance to the third round of the playoffs Friday night at 7 p.m. at Lewisburg.  

Thursday’s game was a tight contest, played for the most part in a steady rain shower, until the Patriots broke through for the big inning, which came in the sixth for what became the final margin.  

“I thought we grinded some at bats out and made him (Hernando starting pitcher Thomas Mitchell) throw some strikes,” said Lewisburg coach Rusty Cagle. “We put some out hits together and took some walks and got a big five-run inning. I thought it was a solid performance by everybody.”  

Lewisburg led 2-0 in the second inning when Easton Fesmire was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, followed by Cooper Bennett coming home when Kody Gilmore coaxed a bases-loaded walk from losing pitcher Thomas Mitchell. 

Hernando tied the game in the home half of the third when Hallas Lawson hit an infield single that scored Cade Koczka, followed by a run scored by Josh Pena when Topher Jones was hit by a pitch.  

The Patriots then put together the big inning in the sixth that put the game away. The runs were scored on a single by Bennett, a sacrifice fly by Andrew Hendrichovsky, an Easton Fesmire single, a Kody Gilmore single, and a double by Austin Hannigan.   

The Hernando bats were kept silent by winning pitcher Matthew Osteen of Lewisburg, who improved to 6-2 for the season. Osteen held the Tigers to just three hits in the victory, one of which was a double by Lawson. Osteen walked two and fanned seven, allowed three hits and two runs, one of which was earned.  

At the plate. Gunner Gilmore scored twice and had two hits for the Patriots while Kody Gilmore drove in two of Lewisburg’s seven runs. Hannigan had Lewisburg’s only extra-base hit of the game with a double.  

“Kody has been killing it all year and Gunner is just a tough out, a tough competitor,” Cagle said. “Gunner just goes in there and competes every time.” 

Mitchell suffered the loss for the Tigers, despite striking out nine Lewisburg hitters. He allowed five walks and five earned runs on four hits in 5.1 innings pitched. Landon Holmes came to the game in relief, walked one and allowed two earned runs on three hits in 1.2 innings on the mound.  

Hernando coach Taylor Karr expects his team to be ready to bounce back in game two, thinking that playing their neighborhood rival in an important playoff tilt might have kept them from playing their game.  

“I know it feels like a gut check for us, but at the same time it’s another baseball game and everybody’s got to be ready when their number is called,” Karr said. “We need to relax a little bit. Our kids want this as badly as their kids do. We need to relax, chill out, and find a way to touch home plate more than they do.”

Elsewhere in playoff baseball and softball action….


CENTER HILL 2, GRENADA 1: Center Hill opened its MHSAA 6A second-round series with a 2-1 victory over Grenada Thursday at Center Hill. Winning pitcher Houston Green fanned 10 Chargers in leading the Mustangs to win the series opener. Green allowed four hits and one walk in 6.1 innings on the mound.  The Mustangs scored twice in the first inning and held on for the victory after allowing Grenada to score once in the fourth.  Green was also 3-for-3 at the plate.  The teams play again at Grenada in game two of the series on Saturday. 

LAUSANNE COLLEGIATE 11, NORTHPOINT CHRISTIAN 0 (5 INNINGS): Lausanne forced defending Division II-A state champion Northpoint into the loser’s bracket of the double-elimination West Region tournament with the run-rule victory. The Lynx plated 10 runs in the fourth after scoring a run in the first inning.  Northpoint was held to one hit from Jayden Parker. Only two Lausanne runs were earned in the game. Alex Love took the loss on the mound for the Trojans, striking out 10 and allowing three walks. But Love was tagged for five runs, two of which were earned, and gave up four hits.  Northpoint now plays Jackson Christian Friday evening at 6 p.m. in Jackson, Tenn.  


DESOTO CENTRAL 4, LEWISBURG 3: A run-scoring single by Lewisburg’s Leona Klaire Stokes in the bottom of the seventh inning also became the final out of the game, when Leah Walker was tagged out at the plate trying to score what would have been the game-tying run. The out preserved a series-opening victory for DeSoto Central and a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three second-round playoff. The Lady Jags scored four times in the first to open the contest, then saw Lewisburg score twice in the sixth, followed by a run scored by Annie Trebiani on the play where Walker was tagged out at home. K Short led the DeSoto Central offense with two doubles and two runs-batted-in. Makayla Jamison also doubled for the Lady Jags.  Colby Young allowed eight hits and three runs, two of which were earned, in getting the victory in the circle.  Lewisburg was led in the loss by Stokes and K Walker, each with three hits.  Walker hit the team’s only extra-base hit with a double. Stokes drove in two of the Lady Patriots’ three runs. Emma Abrams was tagged with the loss with four runs and six hits allowed. Abrams walked four and fanned eight. The teams are scheduled to play game two of the series Friday at DeSoto Central.  

HERNANDO 10, GERMANTOWN (MADISON) 5: Hernando took a 1-0 series lead against the Lady Mavs after the Lady Tigers’ convincing victory in Madison Thursday evening.  Hernando scored runs in the first three innings that gave the Lady Tigers 9-2 lead after three innings.  After Hernando scored another run in the fifth, Germantown scored three times in the bottom of the fifth but could not score any more the rest of the way.  Hernando pounded 11 hits in the win, led by Kaitlyn Gentry and Katelyn Kirkpatrick, each with two runs scored, two hits and three RBIs apiece.  Olivia Higginbotham and Hayden Hodge also scored twice in the win. Gentry tripled, and Hodge, Kirkpatrick, and Callie Desmond all hit doubles.  Kate Johnson earned the pitching victory for Hernando, with five runs allowed, three of which were earned, along with seven hits allowed in five innings pitched. Johnson also walked two and struck out six.  


NORTHPOINT CHRISTIAN 9, HARDING ACADEMY 0: Miller Lashlee and Maverick Ray each scored four goals for the Trojans in the West Region tournament victory. Charlie Parolli also scored a goal and Lashlee and Eli Bailey were credited with assists. Northpoint is scheduled next to play Westminster Academy on Tuesday at St. George’s Independent School in Collierville.