From staff reports

While West Jones celebrated the Class 5A state championship Thursday night, a pair of other Free State-area teams were battling for championships of their own.

Taylorsville was trying to close out the Class 2A state championship Friday afternoon against Calhoun City, while the Stringer Red Devils were trying to come back from a tough loss to Smithville in the Class 1A series opener.

Baseball championships are a best-of-3 series.

Stringer on Thursday took a 2-0 lead at the end of the first inning, but could not hold off the Seminoles from North Mississippi, who scored single runs in the third and fourth innings to tie the game at 2, then added two runs in the fifth.

Smithville pitcher Jared Johnson was brilliant after struggling through the first inning. He allowed only two hits — one each to Jake Parker and an RBI single by Andrew Nix. He walked five and struck out eight in the complete-game victory.

Offensively, Cole Hughey wet 3-for-3 with an RBI to lead Smithville.

Jean Davis was one of four Stringer pitchers used. He pitched two innings and allowed three runs on four hits and he walked one batter to take the loss.

On Wednesday, Taylorsville began its quest for the Class 2A state championship with a resounding 8-1 victory over Calhoun City, a team that entered the tournament with a 29-3 record.

Chandler Cline and Aiden Moffett each had two hits, while Kason James had a hit and an RBI and Walker Gable had two RBIs.

The game was close until the seventh inning. The Tartars scored single runs in the first inning and fourth inning for a 2-0 lead. The Wildcats pulled within a run in the fourth, but Taylorsville added a run in the sixth and five runs in the top of the seventh.

Gable pitched a complete game. He scattered five hits, walked only one and struck out seven batters.

Gage Lucius pitched five innings and was charged with the loss.

In other classifications, North Pontotoc defeated Magee in two straight games to with the Class 3A championship.

In Class 4A, New Hope was trying to close out the series after defeating Sumrall, 8-7.

In Class 6A, nationally ranked DeSoto Central defeated St. Martin in the first game and was trying to close out the series on Friday.

If Game 3s are needed in any series, those would be played today (Saturday) in Pearl. Game times have yet to be announced.

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