by Hunter Dawkins
Coming off a Friday mercy-rule loss in the opening game of the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) first round 4A playoff matchup with the perennial powerhouse Sumrall Bobcats, the Pass Christian Pirates took the lead early and held on to upset a team highly ranked to force a game three back on the road.
The Pirates (8-18, 4-6) came in as the fourth-seed from the Gulf Coast district while the Bobcats (25-4, 9-1) was the top seed from their Pine Belt division. Taking advantage of some costly errors in the early innings, Pass Christian jumped on the board with a 7-2 lead after four innings.
Pass Christian Juniors Mason Knapp and Dustin Allison both stole home after two errors committed by the Bobcats in one at bat. Following this play, Pirates Sophomore Corben Williams scored after Sophomore Jeep DeWitt grounded into a fielder’s choice. This score gave an early lead 3-0 to Pass Christian.
With an increase of the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning, Pass Christian Juniors Logan Webb plus Allison, Sophomore Pitcher Bryce Dubuisson and Freshman Aden Purchner crossed home plate to make the score 7-2 Pirates.
When Dubuisson came out due to pitch count in the top of the sixth inning, the Bobcats rallied back to tie at the end 7-7 off Pass Christian multiple errors.
Despite a brief loss of momentum, the Pirates relief pitcher Mason Knapp brought down the side in the top of the seventh followed by Pass Christian Senior Trentin Niolet knocking a short single through the infield to bring Williams in for the walk-off victory.
“I thought we came out and played well early, Bryce (Dubuisson) gave us what he could with the first few innings,” said Pass Christian Head Baseball Coach Ricky Smith. “We played loose today, as opposed to being intimated last night where we brought back the momentum today.”
Knapp earned the victory for the Pirates, striking out two in the final inning despite not starting. Pass Christian’s Allison and Williams both had multiple hits along with two runs scored a piece.
Pass Christian will play the final game of the 1st round matchup at Sumrall Monday evening. Series tied at 1-1 and the contest will begin at 7pm.